‘We Want them out of residential ar­eas’, says coun­cil­lor

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Crackdown As tour Centre -

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

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