I previously commented on my change of role at Kent County Council, from Adult Social Care to the Regeneration portfolio. This week has been a bit of a blur, as I take officer briefings on a range of topics, from planning to Post Offices, and try to keep the maze of facts and figures in my head!
But today I began stepping out in my new role – this afternoon to meet the Leader and Chief Executive of Dover District Council. They took time to explain their vision – “Dover – The Future Connections”.
A vision which capitalises on the wonderful countryside, the breathtaking seafront so often passed by when rushing for to catch a crossing to Europe. Dover Castle, the White Cliffs – internationally known as an icon and between them bringing in almost three quarters of a million visitors a year – on a par with Canterbury Cathedral.
And the new developments – modern, fit for purpose housing on an unprecedented scale. Greater education and skills opportunities. The possibility of a new Community Hospital. New schools under KCC’s BSF programme. An attractive town centre regeneration project. The Port of Dover – employing around 20,000 people from across the region – with two and a half million lorries passing through its portals last year alone – with burgeoning cruise ship business that saw a hundred and fifty ships over just twelve months, and huge opportunities for modern apprecticeships in this growing industry.
And a forward-looking partnership, Dover Pride, tasked with driving this Herculean regeneration task forward. I’m looking forward with relish to travelling around the rest of the county, meeting the key prople whose passion and drive will make Kent an even better place to live work and play.