Our Man in Westminster
When we think about the future development of Ashford most of the attention inevitably focuses on the big projects that are coming along, such as the expansion of the Designer Outlet and the new College Campus.
But small improvements can also help in boosting the quality of life in the town and therefore its wider reputation.
We have seen two of these in recent days. The first is the decision to put five charging points for electric cars in Ashford and Tenterden.
At the moment there are only 50 electric cars in the whole of Kent, so it appears a luxury. But of course there is a chicken and egg issue here, as very few people, especially outside big cities, will be attracted to vehicles which are likely to run out of juice halfway through a journey.
So in this case the charging infrastructure has to come first, and I hope the council’s admirable initiative bears fruit.
The next step is for car manufacturers to come forward with some decent electric cars – but that’s for another time!
The second interesting straw in the wind is for something that has already happened but has now been nationally recognised.
I am referring to the award of full accreditation to the Ashford Borough Museum by the Arts Council. This is a big step forward and a huge tribute to the work put in by many volunteers.
For a museum run entirely by voluntary effort to be officially recognised as one of the 1,800 museums that meet the standards demanded by the Arts Council is a real achievement.
It adds another notch to the message that Ashford is not just growing economically but that we are achieving a wider appeal both for residents and visitors.