Meet Councillor Ian Kirke
I’m Ian Kirke, Conservative Councillor for Bullbrook.
Bullbrook epitomises all the good stuff about Bracknell – open spaces and a sensible planning approach over many years, with a terrific school in Garth Hill College.
Where would you like to be right now?
Meadow Lane Nottingham, the home of Notts County FC. My dad took me when I was 9 and I’ve been a fan ever since. I decided to support Notts as they were highest placed of all the local teams and I liked their colours!
Now I’m a true fan and follow them round the country. It’s more than a game to me – it’s about roots, family and my dad, whom we lost 7 years ago. It’s a place where I really feel at home.
Where’s your favourite place in Bracknell Forest?
The place I feel most connected with is the town centre.
I joined the police here in 1983 and spent a lot of time on foot patrol around there. The change from then to today’s town centre is phenomenal.
I like the sympathetic way landmarks have been developed, for example, The Bull – it’s exactly as it was at the front but with all the modern development out the back.
Share something you’re proud of
My children. My wife passed away 4 years ago, following brain cancer and 18 months in a coma.
My son sat his university final exams 2 weeks after she died. He got a first-class honours degree and is now a barrister.
My daughter has always been very independent and is about to take up a full-time job in Australia with a company who will sponsor her citizenship.
To be humbled by your children is amazing, particularly after tragically losing their mum at a relatively young age.
What makes you angry or gets you annoyed?
Question Time, when people don’t answer the question! I’m similarly annoyed by clichés and vacuous comments, because they don’t provide any information or move the debate on.
There are many other things…Notts County getting relegated into the National League, people who phone and don’t leave a message, leaving dirty dishes in a bowl when there’s a perfectly good dishwasher nearby…
Who or what inspires you?
My late Dad.
Also, James O’Brien from LBC talk radio. For me, James is the voice of reason in investigative journalism, using enquiry and informed debate to make difficult situations seem manageable and tangible. His style has inspired me to look at things in a completely different way, considering a variety of different perspectives.
Which local charity are you passionate about?
Red Diamonds, which provides terrific opportunities for people with disabilities. They support all ages and through their activities provide respite for family members too.
I went to an event they held at the Coppid Beech Hotel and the confidence of the young people was amazing – they all kept trying to grab the microphone to address the impressive audience!
What did you want to be when you were a child?
Prime Minister. Not because of any political ambitions but because I wanted to know about aliens. I was sure the Prime Minister would know all the secrets about the aliens!
If you could invite anyone, living or dead, for lunch who would it be?
Gordon Kennett, a speedway rider. He came from very humble beginnings, worked hard and was runner up at the 1978 Speedway World Championships at Wembley. I’d ask him whether he did knock Ivan Mauger off his bike that night!
Plus, Stephen Hawking. I’ve read A Brief History of Time, but I still can’t get my head around black holes. He can explain them to me over a gin and tonic!
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
My daughter being offered a full-time job with citizen sponsorship in Australia. Plus, I’ve just come back from a week in Tenerife with my Mum, which was good fun!