“Nothing to do”, “town centre is dead”, “no night life”, “no Primark” – So why do so many people want to live in Ashford?
I often wonder why so many people bemoan Ashford and yet they stay here. What’s more, judging by the number of new homes being built in the area, thousands more want to live here.
Perhaps it is not a commonly shared view. Negativity is a stronger emotion than positivity – Good news doesn’t sell newspapers! Perhaps then it is unsurprising that negative comments get more visibility.
So why live somewhere if you don’t love it?
Well to be clear, I don’t hate Ashford, in fact I am proud to live here. I can only think that those who continually criticise Ashford but don’t move to wherever it is that they think is better, actually have some good reason to stay here.
Is it that they love the beautiful countryside that surrounds us, is it that they enjoy the excellent transport links, they have a job here, their family lives nearby, houses are cheaper than many other places in the south east?
If it is none of the above or there is no good reason to stay here then move out or pipe down. Better still, make a positive contribution to the town, support local businesses, visit the town centre and join one of the many local clubs or groups and find out why so many people want to visit Ashford and moreover settle here.
OK it is not perfect and not to everyone’s liking. Ashford does not have the same vibrancy that a university town has, our talented young people have little choice to move away to get an education. Those moving in to new homes will likely have a mortgage and limited disposable income. The challenge for the council is to improve the town’s offering and make it a better place to live before simply building more homes. Something I will discuss in a future post.
What do you think? Am I the only person who likes Ashford?