The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
19°C | 10°C
18°C | 10°C
20°C | 12°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Ashford News Article
A millionaire property tycoon with a love of boxing is up for another fight as he sets his sights on Ann Barnes’ job.
Fergus Wilson, 65, who owns hundreds of properties across Ashford, Maidstone and Folkestone, has announced he would consider standing for police and crime commissioner if Mrs Barnes resigned.
The retired teacher put himself up as an independent candidate for the role in 2012 but pulled out before the election.
Now, as Mrs Barnes remains embroiled in controversy following a car crash tv appearance and the suspension of her second youth police and crime commissioner in little over a year, Mr Wilson has revealed he wouldn’t mind giving the job a go.
The ex-boxer of Boughton Monchelsea, near Maidstone, said: “If she stands down I might have a bash for the rest of her term. I’ve known Ann for years. She’s a nice woman, was a very good teacher and was voted in fair and square.
"However, when she started singing songs from HMS Pinafore I got the feeling not many criminals were going to be caught.
“It seems to me, more people voted in the Kent Online poll in favour of Ann resigning than voted her in in the first place. I think the best thing for her to do is resign before the next election so she doesn’t get voted out.”
Mr Wilson said if he became commissioner he would not “drive around in a car meeting people” as Mrs Barnes is seen doing in the documentary but would concentrate on improving police response times and engaging young people in the work the force does.
He added “What I intend to do is connect with young people via sport, promoting various sporting leagues for interaction with the police.
“Also, for younger kids, setting up regular police visits to schools of dog handlers, police motorbikes, squad cars, police horses etc, totally funded out of my own pocket. Children like their photo taken sitting on a police horse or motorbike, wearing a police hat or sitting in a squad car.”
When asked whether he would have agreed to be filmed for Channel 4 documentary Meet the Commissioner - which saw Mrs Barnes misspell her own job title and try to describe policing policies using a hastily drawn diagram of an onion - Mr Wilson replied: “Not bloody likely!”
Mr Wilson does not believe his recent conviction for assaulting an estate agent, which he is appealing, would stand in the way of him working with Kent Police.
Click here for more news from Ashford.
Click here for more news from around the county.