Local Elections 2018: Redbridge Liberal Democrat’s longtime leader stands down

Cllr Ian Bond

Cllr Ian Bond - Credit: Archant

A Liberal Democrat councillor who has served the borough for more than 20 years is standing down ahead of local elections on May 3.

Ian Bond, 55, has represented the residents of Roding ward since 1994, he has lead the Redbridge Liberal Democrat group since 2010 and he served as deputy leader of the council during the Conservative-Libdem coalition of May 2010 to June 2014.

He has chosen not to stand for re-election as electoral boundary changes have removed his ward form existence, splitting it between four neighbouring wards, as well as for personal health reasons.

“After 24 years you get very attached to your ward, it doesn’t feel right for me to stand again in a different one,” he said.

“I am also approaching retirement age,” he added with a laugh.

“Local politics is not for the faint-hearted.”

Asked what he is most proud of during his tenure, Mr Bond spoke of the privilege of serving individual residents - from preventing allotments from being sold off to increasing recycling in the borough.

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He was also a member of a committee that introduced protection for Redbridge’s open spaces in the Borough Plan for the first time.

Reflecting on his period governing within the coalition, he said: “We demonstrated that coalition parties could work together and also include the public and the opposition.”

He added: “Now it is virtually impossible for a backbench councillor to make a difference as in the past.”

With elections fast approaching, the Recorder asked Mr Bond what advice he has for hopeful candidates.

“It’s important for local councillors to remember they are working for the residents is the main part of the job, rather than representing the council to their residents,” he said.

“The whole point is to involve people from the local area otherwise we might as well do away with councillors and have the officers run everything.”

Talking about what he hopes to do as leaves the council, he said: “I look forward to spending a lot more time enjoying life with my young dog, a Hungarian Pumi, called Miska.”