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".
Kent County Council is asking for Government for an additional £4.6 million of 'Incentive Fund' support for highways maintenance. They need another £50 million just to stop the roads getting worse.
Kent's roads have suffered from chronic under-investment over many years. A small budget is spent patching potholes. But new ones appear and others get bigger every day. Other highway assets, such as bridges and drains, also urgently need attention.
Rail users from Maidstone & West Kent are facing up to the very real threat of services going backwards toward levels of service experienced in steam days. Promised improvements have been delayed and may never arrive.
Thameslink postponed again
Without any consultation, we were told back in November that the vital Thameslink services from Maidstone will be delayed by a further year to the end of 2019. This is due to perceived capacity issues and to provide a more "phased" introduction of the new services. Most unfairly, the only line to have this delay is the (Bearsted) Maidstone East, Malling, Otford, Swanley to Cambridge service.
Statement by Liberal Democrat County Councillors Rob Bird, Ian Chittenden & Dan Daley
The many Maidstone commuters who travel to London each day are incensed by the news that the new Thameslink service has once more been delayed, for a further year until December 2019.
While other counties continue to benefit from new railways investment and are given priority, West Kent has once again shunted into a siding.
Over the past decade Kent County Council have been fully aware that, unless they took action, the condition of our highways would deteriorate rapidly. Previous warnings from Lib Dem councillors, and also from highway officers, were ignored in spite of money being available at the time. As a result, there has been substantial deterioration of both roads and footpaths. And they're getting worse.
"Will the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport please say how much money has been allocated by the Chancellor to each of Kent's Districts under his £1.3bn road improvement plan, and say more specifically what he plans to do in the light of those allocations to ensure to ease congestion in Maidstone where there is gridlock on all road approaches and a clear need in the south for a southern link road?"
We have just received the following notice from Kent Highways:
It has been necessary this afternoon to close Lane 1 on the Maidstone bound section of Detling Hill from the Shell Garage to Detling Village. This is as a result of the failure of two drainage covers and frames. The defect was identified today, Wednesday (9 November), following heavy rainfall on the hill, as part of a monthly inspection.
Ian Chittenden, Member for Maidstone North-East asked Matthew Balfour, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, the following question:
"The number of sawn-off streetlight columns around th e County seems to be on the increase, most have been taped and left for many months. Not only are they a blot on the landscape, but the lack of light in localised areas increases safety risk for both motorists and pedestrians.
Lib Dem county councillors Trudy Dean, Rob Bird, Dan Daley and Ian Chittenden met with Kent Highways officers on Monday. Councillors expressed concern about the current unacceptable congestion at the northern end of Hermitage Lane and stressed the need for road improvements to be implemented as a matter of extreme urgency.
While there has been a 1% overall improvement in relation to deaths and injuries on Kent's roads in 2015, the number of 17-24 year-olds killed or seriously injured has increased by 16% in the same year. This group accounted for 23% of all vehicle occupants killed or seriously injured last year.
Over a 10-year period the number of people killed or seriously injured on Kent's roads has been reduced by more than 50% thanks to strong co-operation between, Kent County Council, Medway Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire Brigade and Highways England, working together as the Casualty Reduction Partnership. However, recent cuts in government finance to support road safety initiatives is now preventing any significant ongoing improvement.
Kent County Council have re-acted to the increasing numbers of young people killed or seriously injured on our roads and introduced a new initiative aimed at young drivers. Details are as follows:
Most of us love Kent's green landscapes but as I travel along the roads in Maidstone and the surrounding countryside I have noticed that much of our greenery has become overly rampant. More and more roadside signs are obscured, some are completely hidden and footways are becoming impassable.
In most cases residents, farmers and other landowners are responsible for cutting back hedgerows bordering their properties. However, it is Kent County Council that is responsible for safety on our roads.