Ian Middleton, candidate for Kidlington South
Ian is 53 years old and was born in East London but grew up in Kent.
He later moved back to East London where he lived for 12 years whilst studying for a BSc degree in psychology. He then went on to study for an MSc in applied psychology and technology assessment at Cranfield Institute of technology in Bedford.
Ian moved to Oxford in 1993 and has lived in Yarnton ever since with his long term partner. Together they opened a shop in central Oxford in 1994 and went on to grow the business to a 6 store chain with branches across the country.
He has recently been focussing on the idea of how businesses can be operated on a more sustainable and ethical footing and is currently setting up a new business to promote and sell ethical products. He has become increasingly concerned with how consumerism can be balanced sustainably against finite natural resources.
A frequent blogger, retail commentator and campaigner for independent retail, Ian is also a columnist for the national magazine Retail Week and has written pieces for local magazines and newspapers in Oxford.
A vegan and animal rights campaigner, Ian is a local allotmenteer and is working towards becoming as self supporting in terms of home grown or locally sourced produce as possible. He is also involved with an embryonic allotment society in Cassington where they have recently taken over control of their plots from the local landowner.
A regular runner, Ian can often be seen slogging the paths between Yarnton and Woodstock. He is also an outdoor enthusiast, rambler, scrambler and sometime climber and cyclist. He only takes holidays in the UK, usually involving mountains or hills. Ian loves all wildlife and is concerned that local habitat for many of our indigenous inhabitants is not lost.
Ian joined the Green Party late last year after becoming disillusioned with the three other main parties. He saw that the Green Party had moved one from its origins as a single policy party to offer credible polices to fill the ideological vacuum left between Labour and Conservative. With the coalition and the LibDem's effective abandonment of many of it's key policies they no longer offer a true alternative to the tit-for-tat political dogma that has now become endemic in the UK.
Ian believes that the Green Party now has policies that can provide fair and sensible solutions to the wider issues in society as well as focussing on the environmental concerns. He feels that in years to come green issues will become unavoidably bound to everything we do as a society and only a party with a realistic grasp of that relationship will be able to deal with the problems that will be facing us over the next several decades. While other parties pay lip service to the idea of a green future the Green Party allows such a concept to inform and evolve within its mainstream policies. Ian believes this is an essential element in world politics to ensure our future survival and prosperity as a nation and even as a species.
He is an ardent advocate on both national and local green issues, particularly relating to sustainable farming methods, the treatment of animals in food production and green energy. As a local independent businessman he is also and avid promoter of local enterprise and businesses that put back as much into society as they take out.
This is particularly relevant in today's retail world where the future of the UK high street is in some doubt. As a retailer for 26 years and an operator of one of the last remaining independents in central Oxford, Ian knows exactly how hard it is for small businesses to compete and survive in the face of the large multi-nationals. He is involved in initiatives and local projects in Oxford and surrounding towns aimed at dealing with this growing problem.
Other local issues that are of particular interest to Ian are concerns about over-development on green belt land and the increasing problem of flooding in the area.
The maintenance and improvement of local transport infrastructure, in particular parking, public transport, and cycleways.
Ian believes that local health and education provision are issues of particular relevance to everyone, especially with many health and support services under attack from both local and national government spending cuts.
He is also particularly interested in micro-generating of energy and in ways of reducing energy bills in the face of ever increasing charges from national suppliers.
Ian supports pragmatic solutions to problems wherever possible. He believes local issues are always better dealt with by local people with local resources.