Stour Cen­tre chaos only to be ex­pected

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

It should not come as a sur­prise to any Ash­ford res­i­dent that the town is stag­nat­ing when they read the sad tale that the planned de­vel­op­ment of the Stour Cen­tre in or­der to fur­ther ac­com­mo­date the Jas­min Vardi­mon Dance Com­pany has been put on hold (‘Plans for dance school shelved as costs spi­ral’, KE, Septem­ber 10).

For Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil to an­nounce the de­tails some months ago with a bud­get of £8.75 mil­lion and now can­cel it against re­vised costs of £16 mil­lion speaks vol­umes for their ut­ter in­com­pe­tence at all lev­els.

Were a typ­i­cal con­trac­tor to come up with these fig­ures they would soon be out of busi­ness, but – as al­ways with the coun­cil – this is easy money pro­vided by coun­cil tax pay­ers so it doesn’t mat­ter.

What ben­e­fit is this elit­ist troupe bring­ing to Ash­ford? The last fig­ure I re­call from your pages is a cost to the coun­cil of £180,000 a year. If they are bring­ing in £200,000 the out­lay is jus­ti­fied, but when (to the best of my knowl­edge) they have yet to put on a ma­jor event for res­i­dents, I sug­gest it is a lux­ury we, the pay­mas­ters, should not be sad­dled with any longer. L D God­dard, Lower Queens Road, Ash­ford

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