Ian’s looking to the future

Published on: 02 Jun 2014

ian boulton

IT’S been one of the busiest year of his life. He’s attended hundreds of events and met thousands of people but councillor Ian Boulton now has his sights set firmly on the future.

Ian stepped down last week after his year as chairman of South Gloucestershire Council – the authority’s equivalent of a Lord Mayor.

Before taking on the prestigious role, Ian told Downend Voice that it promised to be “an exciting ride”.

And was it?

“It really has been a fantastic year. It’s been tiring but I can’t say it’s been hard work because it’s been such fun,” Ian said.

“I owe South Gloucestershire a lot as it’s really been a year to remember.”

Ian, 46, said it was hard to pinpoint what he enjoyed the most.

“It’s genuinely difficult to think of highlights because every day has been so different. 

“What has been memorable is the annual Civic Service which was held in Staple Hill last June. 

“In Bristol, it’s held in Lord Mayor’s Chapel whereas in South Gloucestershire the event is held in the ward of the chair. We held it at Staple Hill Methodist Church and all the chairs and Lord Mayors from neighbouring authorities were there as well as the Lord Lieutenant and councillors. It’s nice to bring something like that to Staple Hill.”

Because of the roller coaster nature of Ian’s year in office, many people assume he will miss the excitement. But Ian is not one to look back.

“Just as I psyched myself up in preparation to take on the role now I’m psyched up to do the next thing. I’m going to become deputy leader of the Labour group on the council and I’m taking on a role as lead member on the Communities Committee. I’m looking forward to doing the next task.”

Ian, a Labour councillor who represents the ward of Staple Hill, has spent the last year with his ‘non-political’ head on – it’s a requirement of the role that the chair of the council stays politically neutral during their time in office.

But now Ian is free to wax lyrical about politics and his belief that the Labour Party is the party to run the country.

In fact, one of his next tasks could well include a political fight in next year’s General Election. 

Ian has revealed he is up for selection to become a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party for the seat of Filton and Bradley Stoke.

It is the same seat Ian fought in the 2010 General Election, coming second to Conservative Jack Lopresti.

“There’s been a delay in selecting candidates because of the European elections but now they are out of the way a candidate should be selected in the next couple of months.

 “In the role of chair I’d like to think I’ve championed the area and worked hard for the residents and I would bring that to the role of MP.

“I think there might be a lot of interest from people to stand in Filton and Bradley Stoke. I’m hoping there will be some good quality candidates and may the best person win.”

As Downend Voice went to print, Howard Gawler, LibDem councillor for the ward of Ladden Brook, was expected to be elected as the next chair of South Gloucestershire Council.

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