Maidstone North East division covers North and East wards.
Ian is 65 and retired in 2009 after 40 years as a senior manager with a major contractor in the construction industry. He has lived in Maidstone for nearly 40 years with his wife and has two grown up children and four grandchildren.
He has been a County Councillor for the Maidstone North East Division since 2008 and has just been elected for his third term. He is also a Maidstone Borough Councillor. He has previously been a member of the Kent Police Authority where he led on roads policing, and was Chairman of the Strategic Committee of Kents Road Casualty Reduction Partnership. He has previously been Chairman of the Vinters Park Residents Association and was a Bearsted Parish Councillor for twelve years.
Ian is a trustee of the Howard de Walden Centre in Bluett Street, providing community facilities for various local organisations.
He is the Lib Dem Group Spokesperson on the Environment, Highways and Waste Cabinet Committee and, also sits on the Planning Committee.
"My priorities for the next four years includes fighting to improve the condition of our local roads and footways, protecting our countryside and green spaces, improving local community facilities and especially dealing with issues raised by local residents".
At the Kent County Council Budget meeting last Thursday Conservative councillors voted down two Liberal Democrat proposals to fund urgent repairs needed to deal with increasing safety risks on Kent's Public Rights of Way and Country Parks. The money was to come from the £130 million of Government grants given to KCC for any extra costs of work needed to recover from the effects of Covid-19.
The Government's failure to control numbers of lorries parked up in Kent could have serious consequences for Kent's residents and businesses
We are now just two weeks before the end of the Brexit transition period. Regardless of whether the Government reaches any sort of trade deal with Europe, we know that both exporters and importers will be bogged down with time-consuming and costly bureaucracy following the Conservative Government's insistence on leaving the Customs Union.
The pandemic has had terrible impact on the lives and health of thousands of Kent residents and many other appalling consequences. But on a more positive note we have seen a significant reduction in traffic and a marked improvement in air pollution. With the prospect of further easing of the lockdown restrictions, it is vital that KCC takes steps now to keep our roads safe for all road users especially pedestrians and cyclists.
At the County Council budget meeting on the 13th February the Liberal Democrats will be calling on KCC to provide Kent's parish and town councils and community groups with the support needed to get electric vehicle (EV) charging points in their areas.
The Lib Dems will be asking for a ringfenced fund of £500,000 to be spread over the next two years to help fund the procurement and installation of publicly accessible charging points in car-parks owned by the parishes and local community groups.
In a letter to Tonbridge & Malling MP, Tom Tugendhat, Thameslink and Network Rail have advised that Thameslink trains will not start running from Maidstone East to Central London in December. No new date has been given for the introduction of these services.
This devastating news comes less than a year after the former Conservative Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, gave a written undertaking that Thameslink would be going ahead this December to Rob Bird, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Kent CC.
Kent County Council voted unanimously in support of the Liberal Democrat motion [see below] today. The motion was proposed by Ian Chittenden and seconded by Ida Lindfield, It was then accepted, without amendment, by the Cabinet Member on behalf of the Conservative Group.
Now the KCC officers need a constructive negotiation with the bus operators. Then we will need agreement at February's budget meeting. So there is still some way to go but it's a good step forward.
At tomorrow's County Council meeting Liberal Democrat, Ian Chittenden, will ask Kent County Council to consider allowing disabled persons and their companions to use their bus passes at all times. Currently they cannot be used in Kent before 9:30am.
Being disabled should not stop someone from going to work or getting to a medical appointment or doing so many things which most of us take for granted. But it does.
Despite repeated requests, the Department for Transport continues to refuse to confirm that Thameslink services will be running from Bearsted, Maidstone and West Malling to Central London by the end of December.
"Further delays to the introduction of this long-overdue service would be totally unacceptable", says Rob Bird, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at County Hall. "Local rail users, residents and businesses are fed up with the continued uncertainty."
Following the Government's announcement this morning of the Retail Price Index (RPI) figure for July, it is expected that rail fares will rise by another 2.8% in January.
New 16-17 Saver Card will provide ½ price rail travel for 16 and 17 year-olds.
Kent's rail users have expressed dismay and frustration at the prospect of another 2.8% increase in rail fares in January. Rail campaigners have long argued that rail fair increases should be linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is the Government's official measure of inflation. CPI is consistently lower than inflation. The latest figure for CPI was down at 2.1%
At the County Council meeting on 11th July the Liberal Democrats were due to propose a motion calling for Kent County Council to remove peak time restrictions for disabled persons bus passes. The motion was withdrawn by the County Council Chairman following a last minute objection by KCC's senior financial officer.