Ian Bull


Ian is a Chartered Town Planner and Development Consultant and Managing Director of “Ian Bull Consultancy”. He previously worked in local government at both county and district level before “jumping ship” to the private sector, working for a number of national developers. He set up his own company in 2005 and quickly built up an impressive lists of clients and is involved in residential and mixed use developments throughout the South East.

He was born in Ashford and attended the Ashford grammar school. In his youth Ian was a keen footballer who had trials with Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was a member of the Ashford Athletic Club and Stowting Cricket Club where he was both captain and president. Married to Karen with two children, James and Victoria and a grandson, Harry, he lives in Brabourne Lees and is keen on all sports, travel and the theatre.

David Waterfield

Vice Chair

David has lived in Ashford for the last 14 years. He has been in banking since leaving school over 20 years ago and is currently a Financial Centre Manager for Santander. David has been a Santander Union Representative for the last 10 years and has been an Executive Board Member for the last 3 years representing London and the South East. David has a vast wealth of experience in Retail Management which includes customer service, people and performance management, risk and control and commercial sales. David originally applied for the Trustee role in order to be able to contribute to the improvement of local services and has been a Trustee for the last three years.

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.

Cllr Philip Sims


Cllr Sims was born and educated in the East End, eventually escaping the ‘Great Metropolis’ to go to University in Hull, where he graduated with a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemistry.

He was then employed for 24 years by British Gas in their Research and Technology Division, eventually being appointed as the General Manager at their purpose built National Research Facility in Loughborough.

Since then he has been an Independent Educational/Communications Consultant, a Regional PR Manager for Railtrack and most recently the National Projects Manager for a Sector Skills Council.

He attempted to retire to Ashford in 2005.  However since then, in addition to becoming an ALT trustee, he has: –

been elected a school governor at Downs View Infant school (’07 – ’15),
chaired the Kennington Summer Fayre Committee (’08-’11),
become a Trustee of the Kennington Parochial Charities Trust (’10 onward).
He lives with his wife, who works for Givaudan, and his daughter, who has progressed from Downs View Infant’s through Kennington Junior C of E School to Highworth Grammar School.

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….