KCC aims for free public transport for Shepway youngsters

Contributed by editor on Jul 25, 2006 - 12:40 AM


The tide is turning for the Shepway district with a bright future predicted for the coastal area.

Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Supporting Independence Graham Gibbens presented Towards 2010, Kent County Council's promises to deliver in seven key areas over the next four years, at the Shepway Local Board meeting held on Monday
night (17 July).

Mr Gibbens explained: "There is a great focus on Shepway and the needs of the area in this document. We want Kent to be a prime business location and there are great opportunities throughout the district to maximise on the connection with mainland Europe and the rest of the UK."

Supporting business and creating jobs is a key priority for KCC. This includes the very best careers advice for 13 to 19 years olds, a new apprenticeship scheme offering at least 1,000 opportunities in the private and public sectors and increasing the number of new jobs and companies investing in Kent.

Mr Gibbens added: "My portfolio is regeneration and I do believe one of my tasks is to have a strong focus on turning areas like Shepway around and making them thriving communities."

With two major growth areas in the county, KCC will do all it can to ensure quality housing, built to the highest environmental standards, with due consideration for Kent's unique heritage and landscape.

Other targets highlighted at the meeting include free public transport for 11 to 16 year olds, congestion-busting teams to get towns moving and working with partners to build safer and stronger communities.

Pauline Smith, KCC County Manager for the Supporting Independence Programme, presented Kent's initiative to reduce dependency on benefits with an overview of the major challenges in specific wards across Folkestone that require more focused support.

Chairman of Shepway Local Board Chris Capon said: "I was pleased to hear of so many initiatives to regenerate the Shepway district. With the advent of the high speed rail link, easy and convenient access to the capital and continent will make the area extremely attractive to business and people."

Draft copies of Towards 2010 were available on the night and KCC is encouraging as many people as possible to give their views on the proposals. Opinions raised at the meeting will also be taken into account. These included the provision of more cycle lanes around the county, local people having an influence on policing and bringing the east Kent councils together to promote tourism on a larger scale.

Read Towards 2010 online or order a copy by calling 01622 694016. Comments can be made by emailing KCC Leader Paul Carter at, or by writing to Paul Carter, KCC, Sessions House, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ.