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Question to Kent County Council [with answer], 13 December 2012: Ashford Shared Space

January 14, 2013 11:27 AM

Question by George Koowaree to Bryan Sweetland, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste

"With regard to the maintenance and repair of the Shared Space in Ashford, would the Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste please tell the Council if he regrets the decision to purchase and ship materials for the shared space from China and Belgium rather than using a UK source and was there any political input in making that decision? Can the Cabinet Member confirm that he will go back to the original scheme that included the expansion of the station forecourt and say how the expansion will be financed?"

Answer

Materials sourced from overseas have been commonly used in shared space schemes, particularly granite from China. Those used in the Ashford Shared Space scheme were considered appropriate at the time. The design stages of the scheme were informed by a Champions' Group, which included political representatives of Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council. There have been maintenance issues with the scheme, and we are currently commissioning an independent review to assess their extent and recommend appropriate solutions.

The station forecourt public realm scheme is being reviewed in the light of experience with the Shared Space, and in the context of the extent of funding that will become available for it through contributions related to redevelopment of the Commercial Quarter immediately to the north.