Agenda and draft minutes

Ashford Local Board
Thursday, 17th July, 2008 6.30 pm

Venue: The North School, Essella Road, Ashford, TN24 8AL

Contact: David Geoghegan - Community Liaision Manager  07786 191667 Email:

No. Item


Introductions to the meeting - Mr M Angell Chairman


The headteacher welcomed everyone to the North School and the Chairman did the introductions and apologies.   



Declarations of Interests by Members in Items on the Agenda for this Meeting


There were no declarations of interest.


The Ashford Ring Road


Jamie Watson, Kent Highway Services Project Implementation Manager gave an interesting PowerPoint presentation as attached. The new road layout is all part of the £15.6 million ring road and shared space project. Quality materials have been used together with a host of artistic elements introduced into the street-scape. Among them is the much discussed “Flume” carved into the pavement and unique street lighting designed just for Ashford. New trees will be planted from Nov to Feb and new bus shelters will be erected.


Q. There is extensive staining on the new block paving will this remain?

A. No there will be a clean up soon.

Q. How will you prevent vehicles from parking inappropriately?

A. There will be restricted parking zones so everyone will need to park in marked bays or face enforcement and fines.

Q.  The roundabout at Beaver road is dangerous as there no stop lines or lights.

A. We will look at that and maybe put in temporary lights.

Q. The guidance path is a health and safety hazard.

A. It is slightly raised but follows government guidelines.

Q. There is no curb in Tufton street so the visual impaired can’t easily visit the town centre! Also where there are raised curbs the gutter and the curb are the same colour so for many people they will not be able to see the difference. The visually impaired just wont come into town.

Q. ABC voted against having the flume. It’s a dog’s urinal and a waste of our money!

A. The flume does not take running water; only surface water. Its just an itching and not at all deep. Lots of budgets have been used to fund the project but agree at the end of the day they all come out of our pockets in some way or another.

Q. What about ladies high heels getting stuck in the flume?

A. This will not happen it’s perfectly safe for all footwear.

Q. What is the point of the flume. It has only caused delays?

A. Its “art”.

Q. Why put glass into the new bus shelters in Bank Street?

A. Its not glass but acrylic.

Q. As a local resident I would like to thank ABC and KCC for the new ring road and all that you are doing. I love it!


Mike Angell thanked Jamie for his interesting presentation.


New Developments at the North School


Tom Micklewright is the contracts manager and is responsible for the £18m PFI contract to modernize and extend the North school.  He explained how the contract worked and that the first stage will

be completed by the 1st September when landscaping and lighting will then begin.


Q. You are aware of residents complaints particularly relating to the contract lorries turning up ridiculously early in the morning or when pupils are arriving or leaving the school and yet nothing is done.

A. The issues have been raised with the contractors and will be raised again.

Q. Why are the gates opened at 5.00am. We should not have to put up with the noise and particularly the reversing noise of the lorries. Why can’t someone stop the lorries coming down the road that early? Signs are just ignored. I have never seen lorries or skips arriving very early turned away!

A. Mike Angell asked if residents had some thing to tell them who they could ring when they had a problem with contractors?

(18 months earlier there was a letter giving Dave Neil was a named contact but there had been nothing recently and complaints had been ignored).

Q. A resident said she had lived in Essella Road for 20 years and liked the new school but was not in the least happy with the contractors  who had damaged her property and caused constant dirt on her car, and conservatory and she was unable to put washing out to dry. She was fed up with being woken up very early in the morning and the noise from contractors was driving her mad. There had been no offers of car and window cleaning, no news letters to keep residents up to date with work progress and no apologies for all the inconvenience.

Q. Another resident complained that scaffolding had collapsed on her fencing and contractors new fencing had narrowed her access.

A. Tom agreed to talk to residents are the meeting and take further details.

Q. Traffic management on the school site was already a problem but what will happen when the new car park is open and pupils and cars are leaving the school together.

A. The headteacher explained there were provisions and markings to enable both pupils and cars to enter and exit the school safely.

Q. With the current PFI contract if we young people want to use the sports facilities in the school our Youth Club has to pay £10k for insurance. We need a more agreeable arrangement so kids can use the new amenities.

A. KCC is looking at how we can get around that as we want the Youth Centre to use the school as soon as possible.

Q. Contractors have taken 10 feet of my access at the end of my garden.

A. Tom agreed to take details after the meeting.

Q. When will the work in the school be completed?

A. Hopefully by October 2008. There is still some new work to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Question Time - Your Opportunity to ask any questions or make comments about local public services


I cam here tonight to raise another issue. I live in Trinity Road and although the new developments are now over 5 years old KCC has still not adopted the roads and the area is a disgrace. What can you do to help improve the situation?

A. Richard King agreed to talk to the resident after the meeting and Mike Angell thought Cabinet Member Mr Ferrin should be invited to the next Local Board to talk about some of the highways issues with new developments in Ashford. He thanked everyone for attending and ended the meeting.



Future Local Board Meetings in 2008/09 - Dates, venues and possible agenda topics


The next Local Board will be on September 17 at the Towers School at 6.30pm.