Catha's Seat

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Catha's Seat - some history on the campaigning work of Catharine Keegan

I thought I would share an excerpt from some of the letters we've been sending out to build support for the project. This brings together juicy research I found out about mum's campaigning from conversations with Catherine Hughes, Sue Powell and dad. Seems like she made quite a stir locally.....

Catharine Keegan (Gilmour) was a particularly active member of the community within Ashford Borough and in the village of Wye. As an architect and planner, she dedicated a considerable amount of her time to local planning issues and sustainable transport initiatives. She was instrumental in the early work on Local Agenda 21 and the Wye Village Design Statement, the first Community produced Village Design Statement in the Borough, which is dedicated to her. 

She also made a number of representations to the Ashford Borough Local Plan on cycling and planning matters, which according to Catherine Hughes, the programme officer with ABC at the time, were considered a “benchmark” of good written representations by the Inspectors examining the Local Plan. In fact, her work was admired to the extent that she is - uniquely for a document of this type - mentioned in the introduction to the Inspector’s Report into the Ashford Local Plan 2000:

  • “31. Although I do not usually identify any particular individual that has taken part in the Inquiry process, I do wish to record my appreciation to one person. It has come to my attention that Catharine Gilmore [Gilmour] who represented a number of objectors at the Inquiry and in written representations, died unexpectedly earlier last year. Although I may not have agreed with all of her representations, I found her professional approach to be of the highest standard and presented in a friendly and efficient manner.”

Another picture from the archives - Mum in action surveying at Ashford International Station (photo courtesy of Sheila Webb)

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