Junc­tion 10A will only ben­e­fit Ama­zon

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

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

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