We all know that the next general election is going to be crucial for our country. So it’s an honour for me to have been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate for North Devon. I’m a bluff Yorkshireman who has made Barnstaple my home for the last 34 years, during which time I’ve served my community through work, local politics and fund-raising. I love this area and feel lucky to have brought up my family here after being posted to Chivenor by the RAF in 1989.
I came here by chance but I’ve stayed here by choice.
I’m hoping to represent the people of North Devon in Westminster and to make their voices heard. Having worked in healthcare and housing, I understand the pressures that people face.
I have served the community in my charity work and in Barnstaple by being an elected councillor, at town, district and county level. I see North Devon is facing enormous challenges and we are currently being let down, due to the cost of living crisis, the lack of political action to protect our environment and the shortage of affordable housing and opportunities. We need better paid jobs and the right training for our young people.
According to a recent social mobility report from Exeter University, there is an absence of a strong political voice at the national level advocating on behalf of the region, unlike, for example, the Northern Powerhouse movement. Instead, politicians here believe things are “fine”. I want to challenge this and ensure that I am North Devon’s voice in Parliament and not Parliament’s voice in North Devon.
Housing is something I feel passionately about, and it’s one where the people of North Devon are being let down, victims of the rising market for second homes and holiday lets. Second homes have left some coastal villages such as Croyde, Mortehoe and Georgeham like ghost towns in the winter, but full to bursting in the summer.
I pledge a sincere commitment to serve the constituency of North Devon, the place my children were born and the area I love. If I can help you with any issues or advice please contact me by emailing email@example.com
Ian was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire in 1968 and has lived in Barnstaple, Devon for 34 years. He served in the Royal Air Force (Telecommunications) and was posted to RAF Chivenor from RAF Laarbruch in Germany.
After leaving the RAF he became a coach driver for a year before working as a community mental health nurse within the NHS in Ilfracombe and Combe Martin.
He has two daughters, Ailsa and Jessica and is a passionate charity fundraiser. He initiated and led the £3m campaign to build the Seamoor Unit at North Devon District Hospital which treats patients affected by cancer and other illnesses. He was recently blessed with a grandson, Clayton.
He first became an elected Councillor serving on Barnstaple Town Council in 2003 and was elected Mayor of Barnstaple three times. He initiated and led a successful fundraising campaign to save Age Concern Barnstaple and District in 2018 when the charity was under great financial pressure.
He is a qualified member of the Institute of Leadership & Management, which is the professional membership body for an active, international community of over 50,000 leaders, managers, coaches and mentors.
He is the executive member for resources and commercialisation on North Devon District Council and is the Chairman of the Governance Committee, which oversees economic investments, tourism, and property facilities within the council area. He was a lead member overseeing the council’s successful acquisition of Green Lanes shopping centre in Barnstaple.
In 2019 he was elected by a huge majority to represent Barnstaple North on Devon County Council. He sits on a number of committees. His role includes keeping under review the council’s financial and information systems; overseeing stewardship of its resources; monitoring internal and external audit performance and risk management systems; and ensuring compliance with codes of practice and policies relating to the council’s financial administration.
He is a member of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, the independent body that ensures the service performs effectively, efficiently and in the best interests of the public and community it serves.
He is also a member of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Scrutiny Committee whose purpose is to lead and influence economic growth, job creation and prosperity across the South West, including Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.
Ian enjoys watching rugby especially Exeter Chiefs. He loves walking and often visits Exmoor and the many outstanding beaches in North Devon with his family. He loves travelling, and – before Covid –enjoyed travelling around Europe on his motorcycle.