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.
I have lived in both South Willesborough and Willesborough for the last 14 years and have been inspired to stand in this election by observing Cllr David Smith, whom I have supported as a Borough Councillor over many years.
As residents, we all need a champion in our Borough Council. By living in the Aylesford and East Stour area, I offer my own understanding of local concerns as the reason why I think I can represent our Ward in Ashford Borough Council. I hear the concerns and see the issues first-hand in our Ward every day; I know the challenges we are facing and from local experience, I have ideas as to how we could deal with them.
The future of Ashford, is the future of my own family – so I am passionate about my neighbourhood and want to contribute to making it a great place to live and work.
I am excited to have the opportunity to stand as an Ashford Independent candidate alongside David and to work with him to represent our Ward. I believe that standing as an Independent candidate brings a fresh perspective to local politics; one that is more free to reflect the concerns being expressed by our residents daily. By voting Independent you will be voting to put your voice in Ashford Borough Council as I am committed to listening to your concerns and raising them in Council debates.