Heart­felt thanks for the sup­port

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

THROUGH the pages of the Ken­tish Ex­press may I take the op­por­tu­nity to say a heart­felt thank you to all the peo­ple who have sup­ported me fol­low­ing my re­moval from my post as Com­mu­nity War­den for Ald­ing­ton, Brabourne Lees, Smeeth, Mer­sham and Sev­ing­ton. There are one or two peo­ple who de­serve a spe­cific men­tion for the real ef­fort and time they have de­voted to the Bring Back Bob cam­paign. I won’t men­tion them by name here be­cause they know who they are and I will be thank­ing them in per­son very soon. As you are aware, I spent many years in the Metropoli­tan Po­lice. I can safely say that, de­spite hav­ing worked in a va­ri­ety of roles across Lon­don and hav­ing en­coun­tered and dealt with all sorts of peo­ple, in­side and out­side the po­lice ser­vice, I have never ex­pe­ri­enced the warmth and real ap­pre­ci­a­tion shown to me by the res­i­dents of the vil­lages. In four short months I am very proud to say that I ap­pear to have achieved real suc­cess in mak­ing a tiny dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives. To be bru­tally hon­est, un­til los­ing my job, I didn’t re­alise just how well I was do­ing, so per­haps KCC can be con­grat­u­lated for that, at least! It’s just a pity that they didn’t stop to con­sider the im­pact of their de­ci­sions – ir­re­spec­tive of their rea­son­ing – and took into ac­count pub­lic opin­ion. If you try and equate this sit­u­a­tion with the world of busi­ness and en­ter­prise, would a com­pany fire one of its sales­men for be­ing ‘too chal­leng­ing’ if it was pos­si­ble that he was de­liv­er­ing in such a way that re­ally en­hanced the com­pany’s pro­file amongst its cus­tomers? No, I don’t think you would. De­spite ev­ery­thing, my opin­ion re­mains the same. The func­tion of the War­den Ser­vice is ex­tremely worth­while and credit must be given to those per­son­nel who strive to de­liver a ser­vice amongst their com­mu­ni­ties. The ques­tion that now needs an an­swer is “which of the pub­lic ser­vices is best placed to de­liver that ser­vice?” Robert Hughes.

IT WAS very dis­ap­point­ing to read in the Ken­tish Ex­press (Septem­ber 25) that KCC has no in­ten­tion of re­in­stat­ing Bob Hughes as our Com­mu­nity War­den. It was par­tic­u­larly sad to see that the opin­ions of the res­i­dents do not mat­ter at all. I used to think that KCC worked for the peo­ple of Kent, but now I am not so sure! They cer­tainly don’t seem to have the best in­ter­ests of our area at heart! 1. They dis­pose of Bob, who was do­ing a fan­tas­tic job. It is all very well of them to re­place him and to sug­gest that we try to get a Po­lice Com­mu­nity Sup­port Of­fi­cer (PCSO), but we don’t want a re­place­ment or a PCSO, we want Bob. It seems so un­just that he should lose his job, when he hadn’t done any­thing wrong, as far as we can see. 2. They don’t want to worry peo­ple in other ar­eas with the pos­si­bil­ity of a lorry park be­ing built in their vicin­ity. But they don’t mind wor­ry­ing us! It seems quite ridicu­lous to con­sider build­ing a lorry park in Ald­ing­ton, as the lo­cal roads are prone to flood­ing. Some­thing that con­cret­ing over a vast area will not help. The verge at the A20/ Church Lane junc­tion is hardly ever prop­erly mown. Mak­ing ex­it­ing Church Lane and turn­ing right, rather haz­ardous. If they can’t mow a verge, how do they ex­pect to be able to main­tain a lorry park? Heidi Kingston, Brabourne, Ash­ford.

Bob Hughes, for­mer com­mu­nity war­den – ‘I have never ex­pe­ri­enced warmth shown to me’ Pic­ture: Barry Duffield pd1476111

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