The roadmap was approved by Cabinet on Thursday 29 July and will be shared with stakeholders and the community to hear their views on the council’s proposed objectives and areas of focus over the next two years.
The council’s long-term ambition was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders in early 2020. This work was paused as the Recovery Plan was adopted to set out the priorities of the council to guide a timely recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The work that informed the Ashford Ambition Report, together with a review of the Recovery Plan, has shaped the draft Corporate Plan for 2022-2024. Building on the three themes of the Ashford Ambition: Green Pioneer, Caring Ashford and Targeted Growth, the draft Corporate Plan’s objectives and actions will enable the council to continue the journey to achieving the Ashford Ambition.
The Ashford Ambition: To be a thriving, productive and inclusive borough in 2030 and beyond; a vital part of Kent and the South East where local businesses, social enterprises, communities and the public sector provide collective leadership to promote shared prosperity, happiness and wellbeing. This is supported by three themes each with a long term aim.
Green Pioneer: Every community and individual plays their part in becoming a carbon-neutral borough, through a more sustainable way of life, and the natural environment is protected and enhanced.
Caring Ashford: Our towns, villages and rural communities are welcoming, safe places for all who live and work in them, offering a high quality of life where everyone is valued and respected.
Targeted Growth: A thriving, productive local economy supporting a range of business and industry offering good work to local people and is recognised as a high-quality visitor destination.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “In what has been a most challenging year, the council has not only responded to the pandemic but has also continued to deliver many projects despite budgetary pressures.
“I am proud of the work of officers and members have undertaken to support our community through this extremely difficult period. We have learnt many lessons from this experience and will be using the positive outcomes to continue to improve how we work with our communities.
“Together we must now step up to the challenge of climate change and with our best endeavours strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our borough, in the heart of the Garden of England, needs us to continue to be bold, innovative and decisive and lead the way to a more sustainable future for all who live, work in and visit the borough.”