Local Issues

Local issues affecting residents of Ashtead

Tree of the Year 2018

Last year the Ashtead Tree Wardens asked residents to nominate their favourite tree in Ashtead, and then to participate in a vote to decide the winner. This was the magnificent oak tree that is the first view as you enter The Murreys. (See picture below taken by Albert Pruden at the Millennium for his book on Ashtead)

The Tree Wardens are again seeking nominations for this year's Tree of the Year. If you nominated a tree last year that didn't win, please do so again this year.

Email the Tree Wardens at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the tree's location along with a comment to say why it is special to you and, if possible, a photograph of the tree in leaf.

The vote will take place at Ashtead Village Day on Saturday 9th June, so please come along with your friends and family and visit the Tree Wardens on the Ashtead Residents' Association stand to help decide the winner this year.Copy of Murreys The 29 5 00

Mole Valley Elections - Ashtead Wards

AI Election Group 5 18The results are in and we can reveal that in all three contested Wards the Ashtead Independents have achieved success. Congratulations to all three!

In Common Ward, Pat Wiltshire retained her seat with a majority of 600 votes more than her nearest rival. In Park Ward, Garry Stansfield, standing for the first time held the seat for Ashtead Independents with a majority of 480 votes more than his nearest rival, and finally in Village Ward, Alan Reilly, also standing for the first time held the seat with a majority of 820 votes more than his nearest rival.

In each Ward, the Ashtead Independent candidate polled more votes than all other candidates put together!

Since the Election which resulted in a "hung" Council there have been negotiations between the two main parties, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, and the 7 Independent Councillors, of which Ashtead Independents make up 6. The following has just been released on the Ashtead Independents' web site:-


The local government elections on 3rd May 2018 resulted in a hung Council in Mole Valley. The Conservatives secured 20 seats, the Liberal Democrats 14, and the Informal Independent Group seven. This meant that the Conservatives lacked one seat to gain an overall majority. There was a similar situation in the years 2012-2014 when Councillor Chris Townsend became Leader of a mixed Administration. Other Councillors who served at that time, both Independent and Conservative, remember that Administration as the best they had ever experienced.
After the election in May, the Independents had intense discussions with both the Liberal Democrat and Conservative Groups, during which, it was made clear that the current Conservative Leader, who appoints the Cabinet Members, would not have to stand down at least until 2020.

In 2012, the Conservatives were 11 short – this year they were down by a single seat. Even so, after the election, the Conservatives lacked an overall majority, and compromise was essential to avoid a minority Administration, with its possible negative impact on effective decision-making. Through challenging and strong negotiation, the Informal Independent Group has achieved the following:

1. Three of the seven portfolio-holding positions.
2. Inclusion of the Informal Group Leader in a new “top Executive Team” (with the Leader and Deputy Leader).
3. Recognition that all the Informal Independent Group members could continue to vote independently.
The Ashtead Independents have now achieved the same number of port-folio holders in the new Administration as when the Conservatives were in a much weaker position in 2012-2014.

The Annual Meeting of Mole Valley District Council yesterday evening (22 May 2018) formally appointed the three Ashtead Independent Councillors to the new Administration. While we will be working as a part of that new Administration (now referred to as a Cabinet rather than an Executive), this novel arrangement means that the Ashtead Independent Cabinet Members will have influence, yet all Independent Members retain their right to vote in the best interests of residents, and not on party political lines. Rather than be subsumed, the Independents will contribute to decision-making while retaining their unique status.

The three portfolio positions have responsibilities to oversee work on the Local Plan (Cllr David Harper), Environment (Cllr Patricia Wiltshire), and Well-being (Cllr David Hawksworth) – all matters of great concern to Ashtead Residents. The precise responsibilities with the last two broad areas will be determined in consultation with the Chief Executive and Leader in the next few days.

We had pointed out that the Local Plan was of such high importance that it needed the singular attention of a Cabinet Member. We were pleased, therefore, that this was not only accepted, but that an Independent was entrusted with the task. The Local Plan will, amongst other issues, consider the type, location, and numbers of dwellings to be built in the District as well as critically evaluate any need to build on the Green Belt or other greenfield sites.

This is an opportunity for Ashtead Independents to have a major input into not only shaping the new Local Plan, but also formulating new initiatives in relation to environmental and well-being issues. All these are critically important to all of us in Ashtead and we find this an exciting opportunity to effect change for the good in Mole Valley, and Ashtead in particular.

Next year’s election may bring further changes, and the Administration can be reorganised every year but, whatever the outcome in May 2019, our aim is to advance the interests of Ashtead residents. The Independents had a resounding success in Village Ward this year and we hope for a repeat success there next year when we will be fighting to take the last Conservative seat out of Ashtead. Such a result would continue to strengthen policies that put residents first and keep national politics out of local government.

Although three of your six Ashtead Independent Councillors have new responsibilities, be assured that all of them will continue, where they are able, to act on any issues brought to their attention. Being a local Councillor is a demanding and time-consuming task, but we are all aware that were elected to serve you, and to represent Residents’ interests.

Cllr David L Hawksworth CBE
Leader, Informal Independent Group and Ashtead Independents
Councillor, Ashtead Common Ward
23 May 2018

Oak Processionary Moth - A Warning

MVDC have been notified by the Forestry Commission that we have had the first siting of Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) on our land in Ashtead (Ashtead Recreation Ground). You may well be aware, but the caterpillars of the moth can affect the health of oak trees, people and animals. The threat to trees is that in large populations they can strip the foliage which leaves the tree vulnerable to other threats. The threat to people and animals is caused by a substance in the hairs of the caterpillar which can cause skin and eye irritations, sore throats and breathing difficulties on close contact. Currently OPM is known to only be present in London and some neighbouring counties. It is subject to a programme of control which is government led.

The Forestry Commission will spray the affected tree twice between the 1st April and the 30th June 2018. After that, if the tree is still affected then it will be our responsibility to control OPM. This will involve:

• Manual removal and disposal of OPM nests by 15 August 2018
• Further spraying of the trees that are within 50 metres of the infested tree(s) on MVDC owned land in April – June 2019.
If OPM is still present after the Forestry Commission has sprayed (between April and June 2018), we will be commissioning Forestry Commission approved contractors to deal with this in the recommended manner, as we have little choice but to follow the FC’s policy of containment and eradication. We will be actively monitoring our trees in the District, as it is very likely that OPM will spread.

It is also worth highlighting that the method of control and eradication is not universally approved of. There have been a number of concerns raised about the toxicity issues associated with other insects by using these controls. Whilst I understand and recognise this, my view is that we need to treat this in line with the Forestry Commission advice in the first instance.

There is a useful link from the Forestry Commission on OPM below.


Ashtead Village Day 2018


Come and visit the Residents' Association stand at Ashtead Village Day. See and comment on the profiles of the different parts of our village, plus speak to the Tree Wardens and cast your vote for the Tree of the Year 2018.

Also visit Stand C224 where the Friends of Ashtead Rye Meadows have a selection of notelets to sell to raise funds for this worthwhile project. These notelets have been produced by local artist, novelist and in short someone with too many talents to list here! Follow this link to the Rye Meadows web site and learn all about Cathy Brett.


Saturday 9th June 2018

Cars will assemble at 11 am with coffee and biscuits for all entrants in front of the grand house at the City of London Freemen's School, Ashtead Park KT21 1ET. The vehicles will leave the school at 11.50 sharp to parade through The Street, Ashtead at mid-day en route to the Queen Elizabeth II recreation field, Barnett Wood Lane. A beautiful 1903 Daimler lead the 2017 run with the High Sheriff of Surrey as honoured passenger.

. . . do you have a special, cherished, vintage, veteran, classic, 'super-car' or restored commercial vehicle ? Then please do join us for our magnificent 35th annual Rotary Village Day Cherished Car Run.

In an exciting change the vehicles will be met by four camels with “Lawrence of Arabia” riders and two stilt walking soldiers to escort them through the show and parade in front of 6000 – 8000 people. Then they will join the static display in the grounds with all present receiving a Rotary Village Day Participants Plaque. The camels will lead the cars around the grounds before entertaining the crowds in the arena.

Additional Attractions: Joseph’s Amazing Camels will be racing in the arena and The Contraptioneering Crumbucket Dragon and over 120 side stalls will bring a big, highly appreciative, audience to your prized vehicles.

Further details and application form from car run co-ordinator Tim Ashton at : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Future Housing in Mole Valley - Consultation results

Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) is about to start work on its next Local Plan, “Future Mole Valley”. The project will set out plans for land use in the District for the next 15 years; it will include targets for delivering new development as well as setting out those areas which will continue to be protected.

The Council therefore produced a consultation paper on two main themes:

  • making the best use of brownfield land, and
  • the potential release of greenfield land.

This consultation ended on 1st September and the Council have now published the results setting out preferred options being identified for further work and analysis:

Brownfield Options

*Town Centre Redevelopment:
Building more intensively with taller buildings and more compact homes in town centres.

*Limited reallocation of commercial and retail land:
Redevelopment of a proportion of existing employment sites which are currently protected.

*Mixed use redevelopment:
Retaining existing uses and re-providing them in a more efficient manner to release land for residential use – e.g. flats above car parking.

*Targeted increases in suburban densities:
Increasing the number of homes built on sites that come forward within suburban areas.

Greenfield Options

*Urban extensions:
Expand the largest built up areas through one or more planned extensions to build new homes, with extra infrastructure and local services where needed.

*Expansion of one or more rural villages:
Significantly increase the size of one or more villages to build new homes with extra infrastructure and local services where needed.

*Modest additions to rural villages:
Modest additional housing development in rural villages, which could help to support vibrant and successful rural communities and local services.

The FMV draft is scheduled to go out to public consultation towards the end of summer 2018 so keep your eye on the Association’s website for any updates.

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