The Borough of Dartford comprises the town of Dartford and eight surrounding parishes:
- Longfield & New Barn
- Sutton-at-Hone & Hawley
- Swanscombe & Greenhithe
The population of the Borough is 93,600 residents and approximately 40,309 households.
Located on the border of Kent, London and Essex, Dartford is one of the most exciting and dynamic regions in the country.
Dartford is at the heart of one of the Government's key growth zones within the Thames Gateway and will see around 20,000 new homes and up to 50,000 new jobs created in the borough over the next 25 years – a substantial addition to the existing 80,000 residents in the Borough.
At the heart of the Borough's vision, to make Dartford the place of choice for living, working and enjoying leisure time, is a commitment to improving facilities and creating opportunities for existing residents.
These facilities do not necessarily conform to the traditional cliché of community centres – rather the common sense innovation that new buildings should have an indirect community benefit alongside a sustainable primary purpose.
Proof of this approach is evident in the new Princes Park Community Stadium, IT training centre in Swanscombe and of course the Dartford Dojo – which is primarily a centre of excellence for sport but will inevitably become a community benefit for local Stone residents.
Making a difference
The Borough is not just a focus for physical development, despite the focus of the Thames Gateway and associated works. On the ground the Council's 400-strong team is working hard to make a difference for the lives of its residents.
Tackling anti-social behaviour is a key priority. Fly-tippers are afraid to venture into the Borough for fear of being caught, convicted and shamed by the Borough's successful 'Not Wanted' campaign. Additional resources are being focussed on graffiti and street-drinking, with the message that disrupting the lives of the Borough's residents is not acceptable.
Of course the Borough is not dissimilar to others of a similar size, but what makes Dartford different is the sense of dynamic action that is making the Borough break free of its recent past and build on a glorious history.
This history has constantly seen Dartford as a magnet for innovation, invention and inspiration. From the early years of paper-making and cement manufacture to the later developments in engineering and pharmaceuticals, Dartford has played a central role in changing the world as we know it.
The future for Dartford is similarly bright. Despite the plans to increase substantially in size there is an underlying commitment to quality; of design, build and purpose. The Bridge development, just a few hundred metres from the Dartford Dojo, highlights perfectly the direction that Dartford is taking towards sustainability.
An exemplar of public-private partnership, The Bridge is redefining the rules for large scale mixed-use development. By integrating the needs of commercial occupiers and residents with a thoughtful approach to the natural environment, The Bridge highlights how the Borough is moving towards the future.
If only ALL Councils were like DARTFORD!