Manifesto

MISSION STATEMENT

The objective of the Ashford Independents is to offer Ashford Borough residents independent representation on the Borough Council. Ashford Independents believe there is no place for National Party Politics in Local Government. While observing the Borough Constitution, members’ first responsibility is to the residents of their Ward and not to a distant National Party. There is no Whip, but members work together to support each other in promoting a local Government that serves local people. We have registered as a Political Party to ensure a level playing field at the time of Borough Elections. We may also from time to time put forward candidates for the County Council to help our work in the Borough.

MANIFESTO

We will work for:

Borough

  • The work of Ashford Council to be transparent and inclusive for all elected Councillors. The Public to be properly consulted on all issues that affect them (as per the Localism Act). Decision making by cross-Party committees.
  • An Overview and Scrutiny Committee open to Press and Public which monitors all key aspects of Council business (as per the Local Government Act).
  • Low Local Taxes (Rates) but commensurate with maintenance of essential services.
  • Creation of Urban Forums or Parishing so Town residents can be represented at Ashford Council.

Education

  • Establishment of a further education college to build a local skills base to attract higher-paying high-tech companies to move to Ashford.

Health and Safety

  • Health provision across Ashford Borough Communities with local Surgeries and Dental Practices. Easy access to the William Harvey Hospital enlarged to meet population growth.

Housing

  • Improved quality of layout, design and building standards for new housing, with early public consultation. All housing projects to have the infrastructure put in at the beginning.
  • Opposition to large or sensitive building developments on greenfield sites and to urban extensions where there is no need for them and there is strong opposition from residents.

Quality of Life

  • Provision of a new purpose-built central multi-use Performing Arts Centre, better Sports facilities, a Water Sports Centre at Conningbrook Lakes and a significant Railway and Heritage Museum.
  • Protection of the environment and ecology in areas of natural beauty around Ashford and elsewhere in the Borough.
  • Provision of low cost social housing. Care for the vulnerable.
  • Cooperation with the Police to keep the Borough as free from crime as possible.

Code of Conduct

  • Exposure of Borough Councillors who do not carry out their responsibilities to the Council and their electorate and their removal.

Local Economy

  • Generation of rural businesses to create jobs in the Borough
  • Regeneration of the Town Centre to bring it back to life
  • All major infrastructure contracts to be publicly assessed on completion.

Neighbourhood Plans

  • Support for Parish Councils in the development of Neighbourhood Plans that protect their environment and influence building development.

Transport

  • Improved and new public transport services for existing and new Ashford communities urban and rural, and resolution of the Lorry Parking problem that blights areas of Ashford.

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