Ian Middleton - Green Party Parliamentary Candidate For Banbury

Ian Middleton has been nominated for the selection ballot to choose a Green Party candidate for the Banbury constituency in the 2015 General Election.

Tell us about yourself

I was born in East London in 1959 but grew up in South London and Kent. I have a BSc Psychology and an MSc in Applied Psychology and Technology Assessment.

I moved to Yarnton from East London in 1993 with my long term partner Fiona. Together we opened a shop in central Oxford in 1994 and went on to grow the business to a national chain. I'm a runner and outdoor enthusiast, rambler, scrambler and sometime climber and cyclist. I only take holidays in the UK, usually involving mountains or hills.

I'm a regular writer and part time journalist, commentator and campaigner for independent businesses, town centre regeneration, human and animal rights. I've written for Retail Week, the Huffington Post, local magazines and newspapers in Oxford as well as national newspapers such as The Independent and The Guardian.

Why I am standing

I love all wildlife and I'm very concerned that local habitat for many of our indigenous inhabitants is being eroded by over-development and large scale monoculture farming methods. I'm a great supporter of small farming initiatives and the idea that people should regain the connection to their food lost by the dominance of global food producers, food companies, fast food chains and supermarkets. I want to see greater concern for sustainable farming methods, the treatment of animals in food production and green energy. I'm an ethical vegan and as a keen local allotmenteer, I try to produce as much of my own food as possible. I'm currently the chairman of my local allotment society.

Having been a retailer for most of my life I've become increasingly concerned with how consumerism can be balanced sustainably against finite natural resources. As someone with experience of running a business, I'm particularly interested in how such ventures can be operated on a more sustainable and ethical footing. I'm an advocate of social entrepreneurship and believe business at all levels can be made more socially responsible, contributing fairly to the local and national economy. I feel national government should take a much more guiding and regulatory role in the business arena to stem the excesses of large property owners, financial institutions and global corporate business, whilst nurturing those businesses, large and small, that genuinely support a remit of social responsibility.

I joined the Green Party after becoming disillusioned with the three other main parties, believing that the Green Party offers credible polices to fill the ideological vacuum left between Labour and Conservative. I supports pragmatic solutions to problems wherever possible and believe local issues are always better dealt with by local people with local resources.

Ethical entrepreneur, retail analyst, psychologist, speaker, musician and line-crosser. @greenoxford Councillor. Writer @Retailweek @HuffpostUK @londoneconomic