Meeting helped address concerns
WHILE constructive criticism can often be helpful it is unfortunate that Susan Sharp, by dint of her position with Guide Dogs for the Blind, takes such a negative and pessimistic view of Ashford’s innovative shared space scheme (March 12). Had she, however, been present at a meeting, which I chaired, a few weeks ago at Centrepiece in Ashford she might well have found more than a modicum of encouragement. Organised by KCC, the workshop discussed the whole concept of shared space with specific regard to disabled people and was attended by a number of interested and involved parties, including a guide dog user and two representatives from Guide Dogs for the Blind. The aim of the workshop was to inform KCC of issues arising from the scheme and how they might wish to respond to the next stage. It proved invaluable when any number of findings, both positive and negative, were subsequently aired in an open, frank and constructive discussion. A second such workshop is proposed to be held, hopefully around June time, when I will be more than happy to see that an invitation is extended to Susan Sharp who, despite her scepticism, is doubtless aware, following Ashford’s encouraging start, of the interest now shown in shared space by towns and cities as far apart as Hereford, Staines, Newcastle-underLyme and Edinburgh. Michael Claughton, chairman, Ashford Access.