Focus on helping children’s charity
THE new chairman of Kent County Council has pledged to help raise the profile of a Kent children’s charity during his year in office. Cllr Leyland Ridings (Con) was elected as KCC chairman by fellow councillors at the authority’s annual meeting last week. He said he wanted to use his year in the role to help raise funds for the Kent Children’s Trust, a charity which helps disadvantaged youngsters. “I would like to help lookedafter children, who are one of the most deprived groups in the country, to see what funds could be directed towards improving their lot,” said Mr Ridings, who represents Sandwich in east Kent and is a former county council cabinet member for education. The former Pilot Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force also plans to mark the work of those serving in the armed forces by holding special receptions for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the county’s cadets. In addition to his work as a county councillor, Mr Ridings is a governor of Sandwich Technology College and Canterbury Christ Church University and serves as a magistrate in east Kent. He is a member of the Royal British Legion and a trustee of the Channel Theatre Company. He succeeds Romney Marsh member Cllr Fred WoodBrignall, who stood down. Sevenoaks county councillor Peter Lake was elected vicechairman of the council.