Cllr Andrew Bowles is Leader of Swale Borough Council.
Born into a farming family on the North Kent Coast in the Borough of Swale, Andrew has been involved in the family farm since leaving school.
Andrew joined Graveney Parish Council in 1976 at the age of 23, became Chairman in 1980, a post which he subsequently held for 11 years. Having played in a leading part in a campaign to keep the village school open he became a school governor in 1980 and has served at various times as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman of Finance. Andrew is still a member of Graveney Parish Council and a Graveney School Governor.
Andrew has been a Swale councillor for the Conservative Party since 1987, representing the Boughton and Courtenay ward. He became Leader of Swale Borough Council in 2002.
Andrew’s other current responsibilities include:
• Chairman Mid Kent Improvement Partnership (a partnership of three District Councils in Kent delivering mainly back office services jointly across the three Districts.)
• A Board Member of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
• Vice Chairman of the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership
• Member of the Thames Gateway Strategic Partnership
• Chairman of LGA Rural Commission and the Rural Commission’s Policy Review Group
• Member of the District Councils’ Network Executive
Among the initiatives for which Andrew has taken personal responsibility are:
• Re-structuring the Borough Council’s management and Local Strategic Partnership.
• Reworking the Borough Council’s Standing Orders and Constitution.
• Establishing Swale Rural Forum – this was one of the first acts of the Conservative administration under Councillor Andrew Bowles when they took control in 2002. This is a joint forum with representation from the National Farmers Union, Swale Branch Kent Association of Local Councils and officer and member level at Kent County Council.