Council draws up battle plan
The war of words between towns over who gets plum jobs has boiled over. Ashford council claims Maidstone, Tonbridge and West Malling are enticing industry to their areas and asking Ashford to be their dormitory. This is the real reason why Ashford borough is being called on to provide another 2,000 homes by the year 2001 on top of the 9,000 it has already agreed to, say the councillors. At Thursday’s meeting of Ashford council, Cllr John Simpson accused county development committee chairman Michael Odling, who represents Tonbridge, of “bamboozling” through Kent’s “last-minute” decision to increase Ashford’s housing target. Cllr Simpson said West Malling Airfield could have become a housing estate but, just after Ashford landed the Trinity College Science Park, mid-Kent councils had connived with the county council to get a science park at the airfield and snaffle business.