Gallery

Thank You From Your New County Councillor

It’s been a busy 11 days since the election! So busy I’ve not been able to properly thank everyone who supported and voted for me on May 6th.

As the count was delayed until the 9th May and went on until late in the evening, it wasn’t until the 10th that it began to sink in that I’d actually won, beating a long standing councillor who had become something of a fixture in the area.

It was a fantastic election for the Greens across the country with us winning nearly 100 new seats. Some of the notable highlights were :

  • Greens in first place across Bristol West and Sheffield Central constituencies
  • Gained representation on 18 councils, bringing the total tally of councils with Green representation to 141.
  • Gained 99 seats – now 445 councillors across England and Wales
  • Won 24 seats on Bristol City Council – now joint largest party with Labour.

And of course in Oxford we won many new seats with an extra seat gained on the city council and 2 new seats on the county council, myself included! After we retained our original seat on the county with Dr Pete Sudbury, that gives us 3 seats along with Robin Bennett who is also the deputy leader of South Oxfordshire District Council. I’m looking forward to working with both of them.

The out-turn of all this in Oxfordshire is that the Conservatives have been pushed into being the opposition party on the county for the first time ever! While they are currently showing as having 22 seats on the council, they actually only have 21 as an extra seat was gained due to a mistake made at the count that will be corrected in the high court in the next few weeks. There’s also some exciting news in the pipeline about what that means for the next administration of the council that I can’t reveal at the moment. But look out on Monday evening for an important announcement!

Meanwhile, the Green surge continues, and thanks to you I am part of that! So a huge thank you goes out to everyone who worked on my campaign, donated money to it and of course to the people who voted for me. I will do my best to not let you down. I will be starting work on the council in the next week or so, after all the dust has settled and I am properly plugged into the systems there. The first part of that is the council AGM which will be held on Tuesday in Banbury.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any issues you want me to look at. My first priority is going to be looking at what we can do about the state of the roads in this area. I’ve already been contacted by several people who have raised this with me and I know from my own experience that this is a very important local issue. I hope I can hit the ground running and make some visible progress on this soon.

It’s going to be an exciting few years with huge changes afoot in Oxfordshire and you’re all part of that, so thank you all again!

Gallery

If you don’t Usually Vote, this would be a great time to start!

I can understand why some people don’t vote. They’ve lost faith in democracy and I don’t blame them when the same party always wins!

But in this election there is the chance for change. I can win this vote in the county elections, as I did in 2019 in the district elections, and Fiona Mawson can win in the district again giving, us 2 Green councillors in the area. But we need everyone to get out there and make their mark.

NOT VOTING JUST MEANS NOTHING WILL CHANGE!

I’ve lived in Yarnton for 28 years (along with Fiona) and seen how uninterested our local councils are about what happens to our local villages. There’s no better example of this than the concreting over of our green belt, forced on us by the Conservative led District Council.

Tory councillors will tell you they tried to stop it, but they didn’t speak up at the Public Inquiry because they’re not allowed to defy their party leadership. As your Green councillor, we will work for you. Greens don’t answer to a party whip and we always put people before politics.

I’ve been opposing the council’s development plans for 4 years and I intend to carry on fighting. Our legal challenge will be heard in June and I hope we’ll win. But whatever happens, we’ll need strong local councillors to look out for our interests on planning applications to ensure that developers deliver on infrastructure , flooding protection and health and education provision.

But we need everyone to get out and vote to make that happen. If people don’t vote the status quo usually wins. In Oxfordshire that usually means the Tories, but in recent years things have started to change. In 2019 the Greens went from 2 councillors in Oxfordshire to 12. That has really made a difference across the county and that’s palpable in areas like Kidlington where all of a sudden we’re seeing more investment.

Labour voters might consider voting Green as the best way of removing the Tory stranglehold on our local government and helping to realise some of our shared social justice aims.

If you usually vote for another party, you can vote tactically this time, lending your vote to me and Fiona temporarily just for this election. Libdems should vote Green on this occasion as we’re working together as we have done for the past 3 years now. Labour voters might consider voting Green as the best way of removing the Tory stranglehold on our local government and helping to realise some of our shared social justice aims.

Voting Conservative, or not voting at all, just sends a message to the ruling groups on both the County and the District that we’re all fine with what they’re doing to our areas. They won’t care if you don’t vote, especially if they don’t think you’d vote for them.

Not voting is not a protest, it’s the epitome of an empty gesture and plays into the hands of the parties that always win. If you really want to protest then get out there and make your mark, and if possible do it for a party that has a chance of upsetting the applecart.

If you usually vote for another party, you can vote tactically this time

In Kidlington that’s the Green Party. We made the Conservatives sit up and take notice when we won in 2019 and if we do it again this year (twice!) they can’t fail to get the message that their own actions in these areas have consequences. And what’s more you get active, responsive and engaged councillors into the bargain. Just read a few of the endorsements from local residents for me below.

Please don’t waste your vote on Thursday. Use it, and use it to make a difference. Vote Green and see the difference your vote can really make!

Some of the kind comments I’ve been able to include in my election addresses during this campaign :

“I have never voted Green before but I have no hesitation in voting for Ian Middleton for our vacant County Council seat. He stands up for our Green Belt and our environment, and for ensuring that we have a future.”
David Brown, Yarnton Resident

“Ian delivered for the larder for months, sometimes taking 2-3 routes to make sure our community had food and other essentials during the first lockdown. Thereafter Ian was an ardent supporter of community interests and helped advise and establish the larder”
Emily Connally, Founder of The Cherwell Larder

“Ian has been fighting against Cherwell’s proposals to build on green belt land in Begbroke and Yarnton since they were first announced. He’s used every opportunity to oppose them and has always looked out for residents. I believe he would make an excellent county councillor and I would trust him to represent my best interests as a resident in the most effective way.”
KK, Spring Hill resident

“Ian has been a huge help to us, and really seems to care about issues impacting residents. Very accessible and always willing to lend advice and support.”
N Donoghue, Kidlington resident

“Ian has provided valuable help to the residents in our Close by getting involved and by providing ongoing support. It is reassuring to know that when needed, he is approachable and really does take an active interest in his local community”
G Bishop, Kidlington resident

“I first met Ian when he was delivering food to my area during lockdown. He didn’t tell me he was a councillor until weeks later. He’s the sort of councillor we need more of. Someone who cares about our community and isn’t out for himself. He’s always thinking of others and works to make our lives more liveable.”
Steve Norton, Brandon Close

Gallery

Kidlington’s and Yarnton’s Pothole Hall of Shame [VIDEO]

I went for a wander around Kidlington and Yarnton to check out the state of the roads. So many people have told me this is one of their major concerns in the area. Cyclists in particular are worried about poor maintenance of cycle paths and the spaces on roads that they have to use.

Last year I highlighted the County Council’s cynical actions in painting a cycle path marking over the top of an appalling road surface that was actually dangerous for cyclists to use. I said then that they were quite literally painting over the cracks in their road maintenance responsibilities.

Things haven’t improved in the meantime and I thought it was about time some of these appalling road surfaces were documented for posterity. Also I’m hoping that my video can be used to shame the council into finally dealing with damaged roads in our areas that have remained untouched for years. You can watch it for yourself here

Many of our local roads and walkways haven’t been properly repaired for years. County Councillors need to be lobbying for more funds to keep our roads in a decent state of repair and focusing on making proper cycling infrastructure more plentiful across the county.

If we al wake up to a new County Council next week I hope one of the first things they set about doing is getting a grip on this worsening situation. I know that if I’m one of those councillors I will certainly be calling for this as soon as possible.