On Saturday I manned the Kent County Council mobile Gateway in the car park of Tesco’s in Pembury. Along with my Pembury Councillor colleagues Mike Tompsett and June Crowhurst – also Chairman on Pembury Parish Council – we stayed from 9am until almost 4pm, parked right opposite the store entrance.
Along with colleagues from Kent County Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council as well as the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, we met local people, providing advice and answering questions on a range of issues, from highways to park and ride; from help writing CVs to entitlement to carers’ allowance.
It was a great opportunity for local residents to meet their councillors, and to promote the Gateway concept. Many people were surprised that the Gateway wasn’t just a Tunbridge Wells concept, and that in addition to Ashford, Thanet, Tenterden, Maidstone and Dover, there are a further nine Gateways scheduled to open between now and 2012.
As part of my “Backing Kent People – real help in tough times” campaign, we’ll use the mobile Gateway to bring help and support to Kent residents affected by the recession in hard to reach areas which don’t already have a permanent Gateway.
Judging by the reception we received on Saturday, that help and support is really appreciated.