Borough of Ashford

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Borough of Ashford
Non-metropolitan district, Borough
Coat of arms of Borough of Ashford
Coat of arms
Ashford shown within Kent
Ashford shown within Kent
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region South East England
Non-metropolitan county Kent
Status Non-metropolitan district, Borough
Admin HQ Ashford
Incorporated 1 April 1974
Government
 • Type Non-metropolitan district council
 • Body Ashford Borough Council
 • Leadership Leader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPs Damian Green
Area
 • Total 224.18 sq mi (580.62 km2)
Area rank 76th (of 326)
Population (2011 est.)
 • Total 118,400
 • Rank 181st (of 326)
 • Density 530/sq mi (200/km2)
 • Ethnicity 95.0% White
1.5% S.Asian
1.4% Black
1.3% Mixed Race
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
ONS code 29UB (ONS)
E07000105 (GSS)
OS grid reference TR005425
Website www.ashford.gov.uk

The Borough of Ashford is a local government district with borough status in Kent, England which takes up the mid-east and a southern portion of the county. Its council is in the town of Ashford.

The borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the borough of Tenterden with Ashford urban district, and the East Ashford, West Ashford and Tenterden Rural Districts. In geographical size it is the largest district in Kent.

The most part of the borough is agricultural fields and orchards coming within 39 civil parishes centred on village communities, with a smaller proportion of woodland, particularly on the fringes towards the North Downs and Greensand Ridge. Contrasting with this, Ashford in the early 21st century has experienced rapid urban growth, across commercial, industrial and residential sectors, leading to new suburbs such as Stanhope and Sevington. The corridor caused by the M20 motorway and High Speed 1 and its railway station has led to agricultural land particularly bordering the main town being turned to urban uses. Consequently, the second most populous settlement today is Kennington which is centred 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Ashford.

Population[edit]

Core historical components[edit]

Main articles: Ashford, Kent and Tenterden
Population of Ashford and Willesborough parishes / Ashford U.D.
Year 1801 1861 1901 1961
Population 2,600 8,800 12,808 28,000[1]
Population of East Ashford R.D.
Year 1961
Population 10,610[1]
Population of West Ashford R.D.
Year 1961
Population 10,734[1]
Population of Tenterden / Tenterden U.D.
Year 1801 1851 1901 1961
Population 2,370 3,782 3,243 7,626[1]

Expanded area[edit]

The census in 1991 showed 92,331 people living in the Borough of Ashford, which in 2001 had risen to 102,661. The County Council's population forecasts in 2006 (for 2011 and 2016) were 119,600 and 129,000 giving a population increase of 25.2% since 2001.[2] Ashford Borough Council predicts that the growth will rise to 141,100 by the year 2021.[3]

Ashford's Population Growth

The 2011 census reported Ashford as having:

  • 117,956 residents
  • 47,787 households (an increase since 2001 from 41,450)
  • 83% of residents describing their health as 'good' or 'very good'
  • 13% of residents describing their health as 'fair'
  • 16.8% of those over the age of 16 having no qualifications
  • an unemployment rate of 2.6% of all economically active people aged 16–74 (an increase since 2001 of 0.2%)

The settlement of Kennington is the second most well-populated in the borough and begins immediately north of the M20 motorway which is next to the town centre of Ashford. Other major settlements include substantial buffer land and include Kingsnorth, Tenterden and Hamstreet (or Orlestone).

Housing and architecture[edit]

Chilham Castle is in Ashford borough

The layout of the main town is one of a medieval-layout European village centre, largely re-built upon with housing a combination of low-rise apartments, semi-detached, terraced or detached homes with gardens. In the villages low-rise dominates: the incidence of flats exceeding two storeys is very rare.

The number of listed buildings in the district exceeds 400. This includes 33 churches listed in the highest grading in the national listing system (Grade I). Oast houses and listed public houses date typically to the 17th and 18th centuries with a minority built in the centuries to either side.

Examples at Grade I also include the Archbishop's palace at Charing and Chilham Castle. Smaller listed examples are original Tudor tall two-storeyed shop/restaurant buildings in Biddenden.[4]

Local government[edit]

There are 43 electoral wards in the Borough; 18 of those split up Ashford town broadly defined.[5] The Conservative party has held control of the council for much of its history, apart from periods where no party had a majority and has had a majority since the 2003 election. The make-up can change quickly as it is elected as a whole (not one third at a time). For the four year from the election in 2011 the council became composed of councillors of these parties:-[6]

Year Conservative Ashford Independent Labour Liberal Democrat Independent
2011 30 5 5 2 1

There are two town councils in the Borough: Ashford itself, and Tenterden.

There are 39 civil parishes within Ashford District. They are:

Village sign along the Greensand Way in Ashford borough

The area, once an economy dominated by agriculture, brewing, food production and to a lesser extent brick clay excavation and manufacture, has become centred on an industrial and commercial area at its heart. The corridor caused by the M20 motorway and High Speed 1 and its International Station have since its late 1990s construction prompted much agricultural land being converted to residential and business estates. The local plan continues to plan for new housing in areas around the town such as Finberry as businesses continue to perform in the area.

From the town centre, roads radiate to Charing and Maidstone (A20/M20), Faversham (A251), Wye and Canterbury (A28), Hythe and Folkestone (A20/M20), Hamstreet, Lydd and Hastings (A2070) and Tenterden (A28).

In 2010 Ashford Borough was found to be the worst local authority for recycling in England, with just 15% of waste being recycled. Ashford council recycling boss Cllr Gerry Clarkson said: "I think it's brilliant in the sense that we can only go up."[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°08′47″N 0°52′03″E / 51.1465°N 0.8676°E / 51.1465; 0.8676