Cllr Noel Ovenden – Wye Ward
I was born in Challock and attended the Norton Knatchbull School. Our family’s Kent roots trace back to 1572, and several of my relatives live in and around Wye. I am a family man, age 48, and have lived in the parish of Wye since 1992. Together with my brother I run a successful local business employing 15 people.
I want to serve the residents of Wye in preserving all the things that make it such a special place, while improving facilities and the quality of life for residents. As Vice Chairman of Wye with Hinxhill Parish Council I have earned a reputation for hard work, business sense, and an ability to solve problems. With the support of my colleagues I am working with them on current issues, including the Wye 2030 Neighbourhood Plan, Imperial College’s masterplan for WYE3, proposed new housing developments on WYE1, WYE2, and Naccolt brickworks, Willesborough, J10A Conningbrook, the upgrading of the National Cycle Route 18 through Wye and the Multi-Use Games Area project for Wye’s young people. I am also responsible for keeping the Parish Council within its budget.
Cllr Winston Michael – Boughton Aluph and Eastwell Ward
I have been a resident of Ashford for 35 years and married with 4 children and 6 grandchildren. I place great importance on family life. I enjoy the outdoors and participate in activities that give me an understanding of why the countryside is so important.
I was the proprietor of a leading edge Technology Company for 23 years but am now a retired businessman. I have seen 40 years in various senior management roles delivering quality solutions to many business problems.
I became a Borough Councillor in 2011 because of the indifference shown towards residents by their elected representatives and the long struggle I went through to stop damaging and unnecessary development. I believe a Councillor should spare no effort to achieve as much as possible on behalf of their community. My past hands-on approach, regular communication, and open-door policy saw me returned in 2015 with a large majority. Residents have provided a new list of their local and personal issues for attention knowing that my can-do attitude and dedication will find answers for them no matter how long it might take.
While local issues are my foremost priority at the same time I am mindful that Borough-wide issues are of equal concern. I shall continue to fight residents’ case for sustainable developments, supportive infrastructure beforehand, protection for our fantastic countryside, and a halt to the erosion of the character of our Borough. I am for growth providing it makes sense for Ashford and its present residents.
Cllr David Smith – South Willesborough Ward
I came to Ashford in 1967 to work for the Ashford Council as an accountant. My 29 years working there included 10 years as an auditor and ended up with a 7 year stint running the contracts and the administration of the Health and Leisure Department. When I retired early in 1996, I took a 9 month break before I moved into the private sector and spent 11 years managing the finance wing of a private bank. In 2007, when I was asked to stand for election, I retired so that I was able to devote the necessary time.
Although I have been an employee and now a Councillor in local authorities for a total of 43 years, I am still surprised that some Councillors can do next to nothing for the Council and their residents and the Council can do nothing about it provided the Councillor occasionally attends a meeting and signs the attendance register.
I have lived in South Willesborough since 1983 and have been married to Christine Kathawick-Smith since 1994. I strongly believe that Councillors should live in the areas they represent, so they can see the problems first hand and appreciate what needs to be done and I am fully supported in this aim by Christine.
In my limited spare time I watch American NASCAR and IndyCar motor racing and British Formula 1 Stock Car Racing on TV. I have a wide taste in music which is essentially played very loud and together with Christine, we have a very deep love of animals and birds, both domestic and protecting those in the wild.