Cam­paign­ers will fight to save farm – again

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

THE re­newed threat to the farm at Ash­ford’s North School will have come as a bit­ter blow to pupils, par­ents and teach­ers. Lit­tle over a year ago, the farm’s fu­ture seemed as­sured af­ter the Fight for the Farm cam­paign to stop Kent County Coun­cil sell­ing off the land for hous­ing. The county coun­cil agreed to re­tain enough land to keep a com­mu­nity farm at the site and cre­ate a vo­ca­tional cen­tre. Now that looks like an empty prom­ise as we re­veal this week that KCC is pre­par­ing to mar­ket part of the site where the farm build­ings stand, forc­ing them to re­lo­cate. The county coun­cil must think peo­ple have very short mem­o­ries; the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for th­ese lat­est plans must cer­tainly have short mem­o­ries them­selves. To throw the fu­ture of the school farm into such un­cer­tainty, just 15 months af­ter telling sup­port­ers they could plan for the fu­ture, is bor­der­ing on the cruel. The im­por­tance of the farm to the school – and to the wider com­mu­nity – was made clear to the county coun­cil in no un­cer­tain terms when the orig­i­nal cam­paign was launched. The mes­sage pre­sum­ably got through, un­less the de­ci­sion to spare the farm was taken out of po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­di­ency, with a view to even­tu­ally sell off the land once the furore had died down. If KCC thinks cam­paign­ers will now lay down and ac­cept th­ese lat­est plans without a fight, it has an­other thing com­ing.

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