Our Man in West­min­ster

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

The last two weeks have been some­thing of a whirl, cop­ing not just with a new Govern­ment but a new job. Ev­ery­thing you have ever seen in episodes of Yes Min­is­ter about new min­is­ters be­ing taught how to be­have is true, so as a re­ac­tion to this one of my firmest am­bi­tions is to stay in touch with real life. In pur­su­ing the aim of not be­com­ing merely some­one who clears their Red Box ef­fi­ciently, I have been try­ing hard to stay out and about in re­cent days. This has taken me all around the con­stituency, cel­e­brat­ing a num­ber of small-scale de­vel­op­ments that will make a big dif­fer­ence to the lives of many peo­ple. The first of these was the new open-air class­room at Smar­den School. If the sum­mer term car­ries on be­ing as hot as re­cent days this will prove an im­me­di­ate boon. Teach­ers and pupils agree that it is eas­ier to con­cen­trate when not stuck in a stuffy class­room. Then on to the open­ing of the Glebe Field Devel­op­ment in Rol­ven­den by the English Ru­ral Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion. This is a devel­op­ment which hits many but­tons. It looks good, in that it blends in and seems to have been there for­ever. It is al­low­ing lo­cal peo­ple to stay in the vil­lage. In ad­di­tion, it is a mix­ture of shared own­er­ship and low cost rental, so giv­ing peo­ple a choice. Then on to the open­ing of a new build­ing at the Leo Trust in Woodchurch. This pro­vides hous­ing for dis­abled peo­ple, and the newly con­verted build­ing pro­vides a craft cen­tre, a train­ing room and a com­puter sec­tion. On an idyl­lic sum­mer af­ter­noon the lo­ca­tion was the per­fect place to ap­pre­ci­ate what can be done for those with dis­abil­i­ties. I will do my ab­so­lute best to keep the time avail­able to con­tinue to be a voice for Ash­ford and to meet as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. ON be­half of Pil­grims Hos­pices, I would like to of­fer a huge vote of thanks to our cor­po­rate sup­port­ers for their very gen­er­ous spon­sor­ship of the Pil­grims Hos­pices Cy­cle Chal­lenges. This spon­sor­ship de­frayed our costs and helped us raise the sum of over £30,000. Our spon­sors did a ster­ling job both in the run-up to the event and on the day. Thanks go to: Ad­dic­tive Bikes, Bar­retts, Cy­cles UK, Down­land Cy­cles, Gir­lings, Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press in Can­ter­bury, MPG Prop­er­ties, Pavil­ion Prop­erty Group, Pavs Gar­den Cafe, Ra­mada Ho­tel Dover, Thanet District Coun­cil and Your Mu­sic School. Thanks also go to all who took part and the staff and vol­un­teers who helped to make the day so suc­cess­ful. The at­mos­phere of the whole day was one of the com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether to do some­thing re­ally worth­while and epit­o­mised the in­scrip­tion that is on the wall at our hos­pices in Can­ter­bury, Thanet and Ash­ford which reads “Pil­grims Hos­pices pro­vided by the peo­ple of east Kent, for the peo­ple of east Kent”. S. J. Auty, chief ex­ec­u­tive, Pil­grims Hos­pices

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