‘We Want them out of residential areas’, says councillor
Cllr Graham Galpin, Ashford member for Stour ward and cabinet member for town centres focus and business dynamics, said he has received dozens of complaints from residents about the anti-social behaviour, which “keeps them up at night”.
“I’ve been aware of the problem for at least four years now,” he said.
“Drivers rev their engines, play loud music, honk their horns and have been known to do doughnuts from time to time.
“You can’t predict the nights they will be there, but mostly it’s weekends when we have good weather.
“I’ve had lots of complaints, and they are exclusively from Mill Court residents.”
Cllr Galpin (Con), whose ward borders the Stour Centre car park, says there have been many initiatives over the years set up to tackle the issues, but admits they only prove to be “temporary” solutions.
“Street pastors have told them what a nuisance they are; I’ve even gone down and told them,” he said.
“The police have taken vehicle registration numbers and then send letters to the car’s owners, which is often the parent.”
Speaking about the new measures, he added: “This is an attempt to limit the impact of what is happening.
“We hope it will discourage them from using the car park.
“If this is not a success, we’ll look at a public spaces protection order, which is a legal action we can take. “That will give us some teeth. “It might result in displacement but it will move them along. We want them out of residential areas.”
Councillor Graham Galpin