I have lived in Aldington for the last 13 years, the longest I have ever lived in one place and I love the countryside and rural living – with all its quirks.
I am one of the founder members of the Rural Means Rural Campaign that formed to support lobbying of Ashford Borough Council for planning policy change to protect rural landscapes in the Ashford Local Plan 2030. Our activities helped raise the voices of rural residents across Ashford Borough through our petition, own representation and the professional support we financed for the incumbent Borough Councillor, we raised awareness of concerns about cumulative effects so that the phrase is now commonly used in planning discussions.
Having observed how the Council works through the development of the Local Plan, I have been frustrated by the limits put upon resident contribution to the debates – so am hoping to be elected to be able to participate more fully, representing a residents point of view from within the Council itself. I feel that there is a desperate need for more diversity and a stronger oppositional view in Ashford Borough Council. It is a Council that has for some time now been dominated by a single national party. More diversity of views will enable stronger debate about the many initiatives that affect everyone living Ashford Borough. If elected, I very much hope to be able to make a difference in Ashford Borough Council and to build a very strong relationship with everyone living in the villages in Saxon Shore Ward – because it is my home too.