Meet the Candidates:

About Nigel Manning, a candidate for the Surrey County Council elections on Thursday 6th May 2021

I have lived in Ash / Ash Vale for over 30 years. I spent 42 years in Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs as an Inspector of Taxes, latterly focussing on investigating multi-million-pound international companies. This sound financial experience has been enormously valuable to me, in my voluntary role as a local councillor. I have had the privilege and honour of representing the residents of both Ash / Ash Vale on both an Ash Parish Council (APC) and Guildford Borough Council (GBC) for over 20 years. As Chairman of APC for the past 19 years, I have a proven track record of dedicated voluntary and public service. I have a strong local voice and a reputation for getting things done. I also have a common-sense approach to maintaining quality services whilst securing value for money for all residents, whether they live locally or in the wider Borough.

From 2003 to 2016 I was the Lead Member at GBC for finance and assets, in some form or other.  I stepped down in 2016 so I could be Mayor of Guildford. I appointed Rev Neil Lambert as my Mayor’s Chaplain; I still recall with great amusement the sermon Neil gave at my Civic Service – he brought “The Tea Table”, need I say more?

I have always been aware of the pockets of deprivation within the Borough and as Mayor I saw first-hand the fantastic work the volunteers do within our local communities. Year in year out, with little or no recognition, they support the vulnerable and disadvantaged. It was an extremely humbling experience to meet and say thank you to so many wonderful people who selflessly give up their time to help others. As Mayor I supported many charities including the Mayor’s Support Fund and British Heart Foundation, raising over £55,000 during the Mayoral year.

I regularly support many local charities and for years Marsha and I have organised numerous charity quiz nights, within the Parish and across Surrey.  These have raised thousands of pounds for worthwhile causes, including the 1st Ash Vale Scouts and the Citizens Advice Bureau. (CAB). Prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic we regularly attended the monthly charity night quizzes at Victoria Hall.

I care passionately about our local community. I have actively encouraged the Parish Council to organise the Summer Fete and Christmas Fantasia, so that residents can come together to support local charities fundraising activities.

In addition to my “council work”, I am currently the Chairman and Trustee of Ash & District Museum Society and Trustee of the James Payne Memorial Fund. In the past I have also been a governor at Ash Manor School and a Trustee of Ash CAB.

Meet the Candidates:

About Carla Morson, a candidate for the Surrey County Council elections on Thursday 6th May 2021

Ash Vale has been my home for many years. I had a varied career in public service and since taking redundancy have spent my time undertaking voluntary work with Citizens Advice and latterly our Covid Support Group.

Last March I set up the Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group. We’ve all pulled together and have a much more joined up community now. A supportive community spirit is absolutely paramount and with that in mind, I’ve become concerned that we aren’t getting the support we deserve from our local councillors. Our current councillors have remained remarkably silent throughout the last year.

Our area has been dominated by Conservatives for over 20 years and it’s time for change. We need new ideas and views as our community has grown in size and diversity: we have to ensure no one is left behind.

There’s much I want to achieve as additional building in our villages didn’t come with supporting infrastructure, so we are now left with more traffic on the roads (many of which are in poor condition), insufficient school places and overwhelmed GP services. This must be rectified. I also want access to the most accessible parts of Ash Ranges open again for ALL to enjoy, step free access at Ash Vale Station and even more commitment to stopping climate change through things such as increased active travel and improved/cheaper public transport.

Conservative controlled Surrey County Council want a single Unitary Authority and to scrap our local council, taking decision making even further away from us. This would only make things worse. All of this on top of proposals to cut £1m Special Educational Needs (SEN) funding, a failing adult social care system and severe reductions in our fire service capacity. This comes at the same time as an announcement to borrow £100m to fund local projects over the next five years. I’m all for the funding of local projects but where is the money going to come from to repay the loan and interest? Further cuts to essential services?

I will be standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Ash in the County Council elections in May. Whether you believe in politics or not, it’s part of all of our lives and we can’t escape it. I’ve no wish to be a politician, what I do want though is to be a champion for our villages and make sure we get, not just what we want but also what we need and deserve. I hope you will offer me your support and join me on this journey.

Meet the Candidates:

About Peter Kimber, a candidate for the Surrey County Council elections on Thursday 6th May 2021

‘Hi, I’m Peter, the Labour candidate for Ash in the upcoming county council elections. I love this area (having lived in Ash Vale all my life) and know we are incredibly lucky to have so many green spaces close to us (the canal and ranges for example), as well as excellent transport links with three railway stations in the Ash area. However, I believe there is much that can be improved by electing a Labour councillor.

For example, we have had the ‘range floor’ area of Ash Ranges closed by the Defence Infrastructure organisation (DIO). I know many of us used to really enjoy walking and cycling over that part of the ranges, and the concrete tracks on that part made it much more accessible than other parts of the ranges. I know how much this has affected those living around the range complex, as they can no longer walk their dogs or exercise as the gates to the ranges around Ash Vale Station and near the Swan pub are locked. The ‘Save Ash Ranges’ campaign has a meeting with a representative from the DIO a little while back, which many of us had to watch on Youtube as the zoom call was so popular! Ultimately though, most people (a notable exception being our own MP) were dissatisfied with the response given by the DIO. Those behind the Save Ash Ranges campaign are doing a sterling job in standing up for range users, and if elected, I will offer to work hand in hand with the campaign and lobby hard for the re-opening of the range floor. This would be my first priority if elected.

There are also other issues I would address, I would support the re-introduction of an hourly, useable, 41 bus service between Ash, Ash Vale and Farnborough, as well as supporting step free access to Ash Vale Station (however, I am also aware at the amount of work needed for this to happen).

At a county level, Labour supports the introduction of unitary authorities in Surrey, replacing the current two-tier county and borough councils. This would reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency. Labour would also reverse cuts to our fire service and reverse fire station closures.

Lastly, Labour would fix Surrey’s broken roads, something which has my full support! It is completely unacceptable that cars are getting damaged by potholes and shoddy road repairs. Labour would break up the monopoly given to the firm ‘Kier’ by Surrey County Council for road repairs, and introduce proper competition, alongside better in house coordination of road repairs.’