District Councillor for Kidlington East Parish Councillor for Kidlington, Gosford, Water Eaton and Yarnton
Author: Ian Middleton
Ian Middletonhttp://wavinganddrowning.wordpress.comIan writes a regular column for Retail Week Magazine and has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Evolve Politics and The London Economic and the Byline Times as well as contributing comment pieces for national newspapers and magazines.
He was the Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Banbury in North Oxfordshire in the 2015, 2017 and 2019 General Elections and is a County, District and Parish councillor in Oxfordshire.
Ian has appeared on TV and local and national radio talking about politics and retail. He is an ethical entrepreneur with areas of expertise in retail and social entrepreneurship, but he also writes and comments on music, food, the environment, ethical consumerism, technology, renewable energy and animal and human rights.
He is also a trained psychologist, musician, runner, hiker, allotmenteer, vegan, humanist, a committed atheist, beer drinker and compulsive crosser of lines.
It’s elections time again and this year I’m supporting the campaign to get a second Green councillor on to Cherwell District council.
Fiona has been a parish councillor for 7 years in total and sits on both Yarnton and Kidlington Parish Councils. She’s a a huge supporter of community projects such as the Cherwell Larder where she can be seen doing the washing up and helping to lay tables every week.
Like all Greens she’s been working tirelessly for her local community as well as supporting local and national climate initiatives. I’ve been proud to stand with Fiona against the destruction of local green spaces as well as campaigning with her on national issues.
She will make a great District Councillor and it will be great to have some Green company in the council chamber. I hope everyone will show her the same fantastic level of local support as I’ve received from the people of Kidlington, Gosford and Water Eaton.
We’re currently running a Crowdfunder to raise money for her campaign. It would be really appreciated if people could share the link around and give whatever they can to help get Fiona elected to be a new voice for the people of the Kidlington East Ward.
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!
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.
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