Ian Kirkland


With a degree in English and Philosophy in 1972 from York University, Ian qualified as a solicitor in 1979, working as a lawyer with four local authorities before arriving at Ashford Borough Council in 1990 and becoming Borough Secretary and Solicitor in 1995.

From 1998 he was Ashford’s Director of Community Services responsible for Sports and Leisure, Parks, Contracts and Administration, Environmental Health, Partnership Working and Community Safety until retirement in April 2009. He currently chairs the Friends of Willesborough Windmill.

Ian spends his spare time running the music group at his local church in Ham Street and trying to play folk music on a variety of instruments.

Brendan Morrissey


Brendan is an Accountant by profession and has spent over 30 years in House building and property development in the UK and overseas. Born in Dartford, Brendan moved to Ashford in 1990 when he returned from working in property development in the New England region of the USA.

Brendan also had experience of public sector finances whilst spending 3 years at Wye College prior to its amalgamation with Imperial College London, having been instrumental with putting in place some additional student accommodation using the Business Expansion scheme.

Brendan’s hobbies are supporting Ashford United FC and he is a keen classic car enthusiast.  Brendan is married with two sons and has recently had his first grand daughter Sophia, he lives in Upper Ruckinge.

David Hill O.B.E


David’s career has fallen into two main parts: 26 years as a Civil Servant/Senior Civil Servant, followed by 13 years in local government, including some six years as Chief Executive of Ashford Borough Council and five years (2009 - 14) as Chief Executive of Milton Keynes Council.

As a Civil Servant, David worked in the Northern Ireland Office, dealing with a range of political, security and constitutional matters and was centrally involved in the Northern Ireland “talks process” from its inception in January 1990 through to the Belfast Agreement in April 1998 and the early stages of establishing the New Northern Ireland Assembly.  He also worked on secondment at the Department of Social Security (seeking to restore confidence in occupational pensions after the ‘Maxwell’ affair) and at the Cabinet Office (as Secretary to the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords). 

Meanwhile, he was developing an interest in broader management issues, successfully completing the Sloan Fellowship Programme at the London Business School and working for a year in the private sector.

In 2000 he accepted an invitation to go on secondment to Suffolk County Council as Director of Organisational Development, with a remit to drive through a programme of organisational change and transformation.  Attracted by the experience of working with local communities, he decided to make a permanent move to local government and applied for the vacant position of Chief Executive at Ashford Borough Council.  Subsequently he moved on to become Chief Executive of Milton Keynes Council, giving him experience of working across the whole spectrum of local government responsibilities. 

David and his wife have maintained a family home in Ashford since they married in 1979 and his three active daughters all made good use of the facilities at the Stour Centre, the Julie Rose Stadium and the Tenterden Leisure Centre.

Charlie Vavasour


Charlie was born and bred in Ashford and still lives within the Borough. He has a politics degree from Oxford Brookes and a PR Diploma and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.  He runs a PR and marketing agency, Quantum PR,  and has over 20 years experience of working on major issues and campaigns across the UK. He works with many different clients from a range of sectors but with a common goal to communicate effectively with their stakeholders and enhance their reputation.

Charlie is a former Chairman of Ashford Rugby Club, and remains a committee member as well as coaching a junior side. A self confessed sports fan he regularly plays rugby, football and cricket, at the same time as supporting his three children in their numerous activities.

Linda Dodds


Linda is a pharmacist with a career spent primarily working in the NHS in Kent. Since moving to the Ashford area in 1979 she has worked in hospitals and also primary care organisations across Kent. In 2003 she was seconded part-time to the newly formed Medway School of Pharmacy at Chatham Maritime (a School jointly managed by the Universities of Kent and Greenwich). There she has developed and still runs postgraduate programmes for the continuing education of pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. In 2013 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in recognition of her contributions to the profession.

Although she has now retired from the NHS, Linda continues to be involved in pharmacy research at Medway and has recently been awarded grants to fund projects in the areas of stroke and urgent care. She strongly believes that taking part in sports and active leisure pursuits can help support a long and healthy life. As a trustee she is keen to ensure that ALT continues to help the people of Ashford to enjoy a wide variety of sport and leisure activities aimed at all ages and fitness and ability levels.

Linda is married and lives with her husband in Brabourne Lees. Although her children have now moved away for work they enjoyed the facilities of the Stour Centre as they were growing up and are now both keen runners, while her son runs a football team in between marathons and triathlons! Linda has played most racquet sports (with varying success) over the years but now mostly relies on yoga and Pilates. However, badminton is beckoning again….

Henry Doswell


Henry is an employment solicitor and ADR accredited workplace mediator with over 16 years’ experience helping individuals and businesses resolve their employment law problems. He went to school in Kent before heading North to complete a law degree at Newcastle University. Henry spent most of his career working as a City lawyer before moving to Ashford in 2011. In 2015, Henry established a specialist employment law firm in the centre of Ashford, which advises individuals and local businesses on all areas of HR and employment law.

Henry is married with two young children. His children go to a local school in Wye and his wife runs a small holiday letting business on the North Downs.

Henry is a keen sportsman and knows the importance of keeping fit. As a trustee he is focused on helping to support ALT to continue to develop and expand its sports and leisure facilities for the benefit of local residents. He is also excited to be part of ALT during a period of large-scale development of Ashford town centre. Both his children also love sport with recent successes at the Kent Junior Schools’ Cross-Country Championships!