About BBET’s Core Group
Bring Back Euro Trains is managed by a small core group of dedicated volunteers working together for the good of Ashford, Kent and Cross-Channel rail networks generally. A larger committee supports and informs our work and beyond that are all the good people who have signed the petition, who occasionally contribute when they can.
Listed below are members of BBET Core Group.
Phillip was originally drawn to Ashford due to the Eurostar Link and has lived here since 2017. He is considered as a bit of a computer geek because he works in IT and can usually find a solution. His hobbies include going for walks, especially on a nice Spring/Summer day either on the beach or nature reserves, trying to keep active by going to the gym and socialising with close friends and family.
Bushra Akhtar moved to Kent mainly due to the highspeed rail connection to Europe as she needed to travel to France frequently for work and visiting family. After posting a question on a residential group website to ask if others like her were struggling with the Eurostar not stopping in Ashford, the response was overwhelming. It was on the back of this the ‘Bring Back Eurostar’ petition was launched and the ‘Bring Back Eurotrains’ residents group was formed to give residents a collective voice.
Bushra has a background in Financial Services specialising in Project Management, Technology, Data and Regulation.
Is a web designer living in Great Chart near Ashford. She is half French and has family in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. She believes there is a strong business and moral case for reinstating rail links between Kent and the continent, particularly via Ashford’s well-connected station.
Stephanie supports the campaign with admin and website support.
Alex Bienfait is a recently retired parish priest. He has served in parishes in Battersea, Clapham, Whitstable, and most recently Biddenden and Smarden near Tenterden. Before becoming a vicar Alex trained and worked as a civil/structural engineer.
Alex is a dual British Dutch national, with family and friends in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and travels to the continent frequently.
Sarah has a background in European affairs and is particularly concerned with Franco-British relations. She believes that the reinstatement of international train services to Kent stations plays a crucial role not just in boosting the local economy and strengthening Franco-British businesses in Kent, but also in improving the connectivity and sustainability of the region and beyond.
Sarah supports BBET by leading stakeholder engagement, and gathering support for the campaign via its social media platforms.
Pablo grew up in Matfield, near Tunbridge Wells. He supports the campaign on political, policy and public affairs engagement.
He manages the Taskforce for Lung Health – the largest ever coalition of charitable organisations interested in clean air and respiratory. Before then he worked in the renewable energy industry, for Alex Sobel MP and for the Labour Party.
In his spare time Pablo primarily works on democracy campaigns, serving on the Boards of the Electoral Reform Society and Politics for the Many – the trade union campaign for political reform.
Diccon was born and raised in Kent and has had a long career in IT consultancy and project management in the City of London before founding and running his own consultancy based in Kent. He supports the campaign on strategic matters and through engagement in the political, local authority, business and public spheres.
He is Deputy Leader of the Labour Group in Ashford Borough Council as well as the Borough Councillor for Bockhanger ward in north Ashford.
Last updated on January 24th, 2024