Coun­cil im­prov­ing our lot? Dream on!

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Ashford Valley Hunt -

Have you ever had the feel­ing that you are liv­ing in a dream? More to the point, have you ever had the feel­ing that you are liv­ing in some­one else’s dream? Like it or not, you are. We all are, from the Cameron dream of a land where the rich are com­fort­able and the poor, dis­pos­able (‘Let them eat cake’… they can get it from the food bank) to Cllr Gerry Clark­son’s se­cret dream – I sus­pect – of an even­tual ‘City Ash­ford’.

In the sev­en­ties, there was a book pop­u­lar among the su­per­fi­cially think­ing classes called The Games Peo­ple Play. It was a work of psy­chol­ogy-made-easy for the com­mon man and in it was a sec­tion headed, if I re­mem­ber cor­rectly, Let’s All Have My Idea Of A Good Time.

This is the game that all peo­ple in au­thor­ity like to play. In the fam­ily it starts with “Daddy (or in some fam­i­lies, Nanny) knows best”. In the wider world it is the bankers and politi­cians who lay out the rules for the rest to abide by.

We can see the game be­ing played here in Ash­ford. There are two main teams; on the one side are the ‘ex­pan­sion­ists’ on the other are the ‘tra­di­tion­al­ists’.

One bat­tle­ground, where the ex­pan­sion­ists ap­pear to have car­ried the day was the Chilm­ing­ton Green hous­ing es­tate scheme.

Another has been the so­lar power pro­posal, where the Nim­bys (un­der the guise of tra­di­tion­al­ists) held sway.

Stuck some­where in the mid­dle, though lean­ing to­ward the tra­di­tion­al­ist camp are the Town Cen­tre Team headed by Cllr Galpin and Ms. Jo Wynn-Carter. Gra­ham Galpin is re­ported as say­ing that with­out more peo­ple liv­ing in the town cen­tre, we are in dan­ger of be­com­ing a dough­nut town with a hole in the mid­dle.

In this I be­lieve him to be ab­so­lutely right. A num­ber of peo­ple (in­clud­ing me) wrote to the Ken­tish Ex­press declar­ing this to be the case around the time of the con­struc­tion of the De­signer Out­let.

But to re­turn to Cllr Clark­son’s im­me­di­ate dream – of a maybe Mor­risons, a could-be cin­ema and a hoped-for col­lege; th­ese are all, I’m cer­tain, dreams which all who live ac­tu­ally within the town of Ash­ford will whole­heart­edly share.

Th­ese are the things which could truly do that which the coun­cil used to de­clare as its pri­mary aim; ‘…to im­prove the lives of all Ash­ford cit­i­zens’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.