Your Team

Cllr Mike Whiting

Chairman – Cllr Mike Whiting

Mike was elected Chairman of Kent Area in November 2017. He is the Kent county councillor for Swale West in Sittingbourne and chairs KCC’s economic development committee. He also sits on Swale Borough Council, representing Teynham and Lynsted ward and chairs the Sittingbourne branch of his local conservative association in Sittingbourne and Sheppey.

After a short stint with a rock band in his teens, Mike went on to work for 30 years in local media. He now works part time for Gordon Henderson MP, Member of Parliament for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, and outside of work and politics, Mike is an assessor and moderator with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and a volunteer Mentor with The Prince’s Trust.

He lives in Sittingbourne with his wife Sue, and the couple have two children and one grandchild – with another on the way!

Stephen Bates

Deputy Chairman Political – Stephen Bates

Stephen was born in the North East of England before going on to Nottingham University. He undertook a Masters Degree at Newcastle University before completing a PhD in Agricultural Economics and Policy at Wye College, University of London, near Ashford in Kent. After Lecturing at Wye, Stephen went to research in the food industry commercially, working for Brake Bros Ltd.

Stephen currently heads up an European Insight team for a multi billion pound global food manufacturer in central London, commuting up daily from Ashford. Whilst at Wye, Stephen won a Waitangi Fellowship with the (then) New Zealand Dairy Board and commercially, Stephen has undertaken a professional business training course at Harvard Business School. His current business is headquartered in Zurich and he regularly travels with work across Europe.

Stephen lives in Ashford and was previously Deputy Chair Political of the Ashford Association before going on to stand for Westminster in Newcastle North. Stephen retains a love of history, sport and food and serves on the PCC of his local church under the Canterbury diocese, in Westwell

Cllr Josie Iles

Treasurer – Cllr Josie Iles

Bio coming soon!