Sad farewell to a de­voted man

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

As I sat down to write this col­umn, I re­ceived a tele­phone call telling me of the sad death of Cllr Harold Apps, the mem­ber rep­re­sent­ing Vic­to­ria Ward. Harold was a quite re­mark­able man with a strong be­lief in public ser­vice, as shown by his hard work right up to the end of his long life. He has served the peo­ple of Ash­ford for nearly 50 years and was a coun­cil­lor on the Ten­ter­den Ru­ral District Coun­cil way back in the 1960s, be­fore Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil had even been formed. He was a dear friend and col­league who will be greatly missed and our thoughts go out to Harold’s fam­ily at this sad time.

Last week I was among a num­ber of guests of the Had­low Group, taken on a spe­cial tour of the new Ash­ford Col­lege. What an im­pres­sive teach­ing fa­cil­ity, oc­cu­py­ing such a piv­otal po­si­tion op­po­site the In­ter­na­tional Sta­tion. We were told that the de­mand for places has al­ready ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions, and I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to the chang­ing dy­nam­ics of the town cen­tre, when the stu­dents ar­rive in Septem­ber.

One of the key chal­lenges to the eco­nomic growth and thus greater pros­per­ity of our bor­ough, is the im­prove­ment of the skills avail­able to our wide range of em­ploy­ers. The new campus will there­fore play a vi­tal part in sup­port­ing and im­prov­ing the ed­u­ca­tional and vo­ca­tional skill lev­els here in Ash­ford. This will in turn strengthen our econ­omy and im­prove the pros­per­ity for all.

Ash­ford will once again host the Kent Busi­ness to Busi­ness (B2B) event this month, to be held at the Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel, on Tues­day, April 25 – doors open at 8.30am. This an­nual event is or­gan­ised by the Kent In­victa Cham­ber of Com­merce and is now in its 31st year. It is aimed at busi­nesses of all shapes and sizes who want to show­case their work, find out about other ser­vices in the county and sim­ply work with other like-minded busi­nesses. The B2B event is free to en­ter and last year saw more than 1,000 peo­ple pass­ing through the door, with more than 100 busi­nesses tak­ing stands.

Fol­low­ing a High Court Hear­ing on Mon­day, April 3 2017, the Coun­cil has suc­cess­fully ob­tained an in­junc­tion con­cern­ing land in Budds Lane, Wit­ter­sham. The in­junc­tion ef­fec­tively pre­vents any fur­ther de­vel­op­ment on the land and any fur­ther oc­cu­pa­tion of car­a­vans and/or mo­bile homes. This is the fourth site in the coun­try­side where the Coun­cil has been suc­cess­ful in ob­tain­ing a High Court in­junc­tion in the last 12 months. This should send out a strong mes­sage that if any­one tries to flout plan­ning reg­u­la­tions, Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil will take firm ac­tion.

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