Junction 10A will only benefit Amazon
After attending the exhibition at Willesborough Community Forum I have come to the conclusion that the only reason for junction 10A to be built is to facilitate the development of Sevington to accommodate what is believed to be an Amazon warehouse.
The warehouse is proposed on grade 1 agricultural land which, in the coming years, we will need for food production.
All other reasons put up to justify J10A are spurious and fictitious. Congestion will be moved, not reduced, pollution will increase, noise will increase, traffic will increase and the warehouse will be operational with 24-hour access for lorries in and out.
Further, access to the M20 southbound will be via J10A, not J10, and the exit from the M20 northbound will be via J10A, with a roundabout on Bad Munstreifel Road.
This greatly disrupts access for ambulances to the hospital’s A&E department, putting lives at risk.
Tellingly, when questioned about an access road from J10A to the hospital, the Highways England representative explained they were concerned about this but hospital chiefs, when consulted, seemed strangely unconcerned.
It is worth mentioning in this context that Margate, Canterbury and Ashford A&E departments are earmarked for closure, with at least one, possibly two, definitely going to close.
This is, of course, explained away as cost cutting or efficiency, as part of the Conservative government’s fraudulent austerity measures.
And yet the same government is offering to help pay for an access road to the warehouse at a cost of £17 million to the taxpayer.
It is also worth mentioning that an Amazon warehouse will probably offer no more than minimum wage jobs propped up further by the taxpayer through working tax credits, which could reduce the average wage for Ashford, particularly for postal workers and delivery drivers, and that Amazon pays little tax in the UK.
J10A and the warehouse development must be stopped.
Our Conservative Government is deliberately putting lives at risk in order to pass taxpayers’ money to a tax dodging company. We do not need the warehouse, we do not need J10A.
We need small scale local farms on that grade 1 agricultural land, we need local government to support local businesses, we need meaningful jobs, we need a publicly owned and funded NHS, with a fully functioning A&E in every town, and we need a fully nationalised railway system with freight on the rail, taking lorries off of the road, off of our side streets and negating the need for either Operation Stack or a lorry park. Steven Campkin, Ashford Green Party executive director of Age UK here in Ashford and I attended quite a few project meetings for the new Day Centre and Farrow Court housing complex.
Mrs Kerly chaired these meetings with the contractors and the different council departments and I was very impressed with the way she kept a steady hand on the tiller throughout the project and ensured that the borough got value for money.
I think from what I have seen of her she will make a first rate chief executive and a worthy successor to John Bunnett. John Hobbs, Medash Signs Ltd, Station House, Eastmead Trading Estate, Ashford quarter in the city”, so I can only assume Mr Cooper uses the word in another context.
However, given the current unique environment of the churchyard, it seems clear that any ‘ghettoisation’ largely results from the council’s acquiescence to Mr Cooper’s persistent challenges to the council and church officials and it would appear that Mr Cooper is the perpetrator of the situation in which he finds himself.
The tragedy of Mr Cooper’s ongoing complaints is the waste of time, effort and cost to ratepayers of council officers endeavouring to deal with his complaints; not forgetting the complete diversion of effort by the church volunteers from maintaining the mission and work of the church in dealing with Mr Cooper’s idiosyncratic vehemently expressed views of the world as it should be. Mrs J Y Davis, Brooke Road, Ashford
Tracey Kerly, Ashford Borough Council’s new interim chief executive