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Ashtead’s Independent councillors are restarting monthly surgeries at which residents can meet their County and District Councillors to discuss any issues of concern.  

The surgeries will be at Ashtead Library (Woodfield Lane) from 14.00-16.00 on the first Saturday of each month, starting on 4 March 2023.  

At least two Councillors will be present each time, and the Library Service is making an office available so any discussions can be in confidence. 

No booking is necessary and there is on-site parking, just drop in anytime during the two hour slots. 

We are grateful to Surrey County Council and the Ashtead Library for making this venue available to us. 

Meet your Independent Councillors 


Your County and District 

Councillors HERE



HAD THE ASHTEAD RECREATION GROUND CONSULTATION scores an own goal at the first hurdle? If not then why didn't the public consultation proposal involve consultation with local councillors??


It is clear that the administration has been having discussions with the Football Club, and despite the request made at the public meeting held in St Georges Church, there has been no further public engagement by the Football club.


We have requested an urgent meeting with council officers regarding this proposed consultation to ascertain who is paying for it, the nature of the consultation including the question to be asked, whether there will be equal opportunity for those in favour and those against the proposal to have input into the consultation, and how the paper and email consultation responses will be verified, and results counted.  We also want to know whether the outcome will be binding.


Once we have further information, we will share it as widely as we can, including on our website.


I am sorry that we cannot provide a more definitive response, but the consultation process had not been shared with us previously, which we are clearly raising as a failure given that the council and council officers should acted fairly for all residents and councillors.


Chris Hunt

Leader of the Opposition

Leader of Ashtead Independents


The latest emergency defibrillator has been unveiled outside Tesco at the Craddocks Avenue Shopping areas thanks to the work undertaken by St. Stephens House Surgery PPG.


In the recent unveiling Patient Participation Group (PPG), Chair Martin Riddle thanked those who had contributed to the project particularly with donations from the Friends of Ashlea Medical Practice; Tesco; Wessex Property Consultants; and Ashtead Independent County Councillor Chris Townsend, who provided a donation from his community fund allocation, which is provided by Surrey County Council.

Read full story below in 'More News Here...'


Ashtead Independents retain all seats


A big “thank you” to all Ashtead residents who voted for their Ashtead Independent (AI) candidates – all six of whom were elected with significant majorities on 4 May 2023. We are gratified with the confidence it shows Ashtead has in us to represent your views, and your appreciation of what we achieve for the community.

We secured 60.4 % of the number of votes, with the next largest group being the Liberal Democrats at 14.9 %; the other four groups contesting the election all had less than 10% of the total number of votes. The highest number of votes for us came from Lanes and Common Ward (4723) where we secured 69.0% of the votes, while in Park Ward (3352) the percentage was 51.3%. 

Mole Valley District Council now comprises 30 Liberal Democrat Councillors, three Conservatives, and six Ashtead Independents. This means that the Informal Independent Group in the Council, made up only of Ashtead Independents, becomes the official opposition.

This new situation puts a great deal of responsibility on Ashtead Councillors, and we will intensify our efforts to consult residents widely to ensure that their voice is heard loud and clear.

Remember, that while the Ashtead Independents are registered with the Electoral Commission, our Constitution and Rules make clear each can vote independently with no whip. So it is important that your ward councillors are made aware of your views.

​We are pleased that the majority of Ashtead residents continue to agree that national party politics should have has no place in local authorities.  The national political parties create unnecessary antagonisms and divisiveness, and result in some elected Members being unable to exercise their personal the views in the interests of the wards they represent.

​Please use the website to contact us to ask questions, for help, and to offer assistance in our campaigns. Please visit it and get in touch especially if you would like to join us!

The Ashtead Independent Councillors elected or re-elected were:

Ashtead Lanes and Common: David Leslie Hawksworth (1534 votes), Chris Hunt (1636), and Patricia Wiltshire (1553).




Ireland has spent €500m in plastic pitches that will be outlawed in 2023 - click here to read more....

The Ashtead Independent Councillors* have been supporting local residents in their concerns over the proposal for an enclosed new plastic grass 3G pitch on the northern end of the Queen Elizabeth II Recreation Ground because of the environmental and potential health risks (see here and below). These concerns over artificial pitches are now also being expressed by organizations supporting sports, including football ones. In the light of these discussions it would clearly be unwise for any public body to install or approve new artificial pitches at this time.

A joint position statement between partners and key stakeholders, including the GMA, Sport England, sportscotland, Sport Wales, DCMS, Football Foundation, The FA, RFL, SAPCA and England Rugby, has just been released relating to the use of rubber crumb in 3G pitches and the sustainability of artificial grass pitches.

The statement is available on the Grounds Management Association [Updated Statement on 3G Pitches | Grounds Management Association (] and the Sports and Play Construction Association [SAPCA website] websites and also reproduced in full below:

“Artificial grass pitches (AGPs) are recognised as a durable, safe, year-round playing surfaces, able to withstand intensive use and all kinds of weather. The pitches are used for playing multiple sports including football, hockey and rugby and they are an important community resource that mean more people can benefit from the social and health benefits of physical activity.

rugby-4614610 (1).jpg

“However, concerns have been raised about the environmental impact of these pitches. Most commonly this relates to the fibre loss of microplastics and; in the case of third generation or 3G pitches, the presence of rubber infill, which is also a microplastic. We understand these concerns and are taking them very seriously.


“We are aware of potential developments in the EU following the European Commission’s statement (released in September 2022) which recommended the introduction of a ban on the future sale of ‘intentionally added microplastics’ onto the European market, which includes rubber infill for 3G AGPs. The Commission proposed a six-year transition period before the new restriction becomes effective, although the timing for it to become law has not yet been made clear. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the regulatory framework for these matters now sits at a UK level (except for Northern Ireland, which will continue to follow EU REACH requirements).

“The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) commissioned an evidence project, under the UK REACH 2022/23 Work Programme, to review emissions of intentionally added microplastics. It will consider the risks they pose to human health and the environment and include a socio-economic assessment. The project will include rubber infill and will inform any future regulatory actions in the UK.

“The Sports Councils – Sport England, Sport Wales, sportscotland, Sport NI – and leading sport bodies are working together and with respective governments to understand what the EU ban will mean for the stock of 3G AGPs in the UK and the timings for any legislative decisions.

“If the EU law on a ban is passed, it will be important to have a transition period because 3G AGPs are in widespread use by communities across Europe, were costly to put in place, and will be to remove. It is also important to note that there are currently no widely available alternative infill products on the market that are as effective, suitable for all weather conditions and deliver the required performance standards. That is why we are also committed to exploring alternative artificial pitch systems and more sustainable infill products. We will continue to work with partners across the UK and Europe to research and reduce the spread of microplastics into the environment.“

Read more about the growing demand for banning artificial turf HERE

LibDems plan to spend £ 8-11 Million on Dorking Halls vanity project! 

It was made public in the papers presented to the Mole Valley District Council’s Scrutiny Committee on 24 January 2023 that the LibDem Administration plans to spend £ 8-11 Million on Dorking Halls. 

The money is to be used to cover works such as strengthening the roof so it can support solar panels and internal refurbishments with over a £1 million goings to consultants.  

This is one of several Dorking capital projects in the 2023-24 budget, which it is planned to partly pay for by selling property assets, information on which has been released to Councillors but has yet to be made public.  Continue reading HERE


Ashtead Independents Query the financial 'Black Hole' of Dorking

 see story Dec 2022 here

2023 News update - Black Hole still haemorrhaging ratepayers money!


By Councillor Patricia Wiltshire


Some look back to the halcyon days of children paddling in clean rivers, but these are flawed memories. The waters of the river Mole have consisted mainly of treated sewage since at least the late 1960s. These days, our population is much higher and the amount of domestic and industrial building on the flood plain has increased greatly. Not only that, since 1970s, farmers have been encouraged to apply huge amounts of fertilisers and pesticides to their fields, and these seep into the river in the groundwater runoff. This results in unnatural levels of phosphate, nitrogenous, and other compounds which, in turn, lead to elevated levels of microbial and algal growth.


Local people, including all the elected councillors in MVDC, are deeply distressed at the filthy state of the river Mole and, at last, Government Agencies have started to take notice. Most of our local rivers are unclean and unsafe, and except for controlling the building on the flood plains, all the local Councils can do is complain and lobby Central Government and local MPs for remedies. It will require a gargantuan effort and vast financial resources by the main governmental agencies to remedy the state of most of the rivers in the UK.


Only DEFRA and the Government can have any control on the impact of farming, but river water in a catchment like that of the Mole can never be truly safe for paddling, dabbling, or swimming. Besides the treated and raw sewage, the river will always contain faecal material from fish, birds, other wild animals, domestic dogs, and people themselves.


Although sewage and groundwater runoff from farms are major sources of disease-producing organisms. It must be remembered that common soil bacteria can also cause disease, and these are always present in river water.

Of many of the disease-producing fungi, bacteria, protozoa, and viruses that find their way into our rivers, some of the commoner infective agents include: Shigella, Escherischia coli, Cryptosporidium, Leptospira, Adenovirus, Norovirus, Giardia, Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella, and Naegleria fowleri, as well as very many other species and strains. The authorities take the presence of E. coli as being indicative of other gut organisms and its presence is one of the common tests for water quality. It is a mere indicator of a much nastier load infective agents.

We now have swimming pools, and these are a much safer option for leisure. Better still, a clean beach and the sea is the best place for leisure. The chemical and biological status of clean seawater is very different from that of rivers so they should not be confused with each other.


How on earth does our river get polluted with raw sewage? It is because of a lack of adequate facilities for coping with storm water. Local Councils, MPs, and residents should be lobbying Government to force the water companies to invest in proper infrastructure. But remember, even if the overspill from the sewage plants by storm water were remedied, the river Mole would still consist mostly of treated sewage.


Is the motion meaningful? Read the full story here here...


Representing the two Ashtead Wards on Mole Valley District Council and Surrey County Council ... ... and with good reason!

Ashtead Independents

Ashtead Independents are registered with the Electoral Commission to enable them to be identified and use a logo. Our Constitution and Rules make clear each vote independently with no whip.

We, the majority of Ashtead residents and the Ashtead Residents’ Association, consider that National party politics has no place in local councils.  It creates unnecessary antagonisms and divisiveness, and tends to prevent a proportion of members of the Council from being able to exercise full influence on behalf of their constituents.

In this site we introduce ourselves and try to keep you up to date with current issues affecting Ashtead.  Please use it to contact us to ask questions, to ask for help, to offer assistance in our campaigns, or especially if you would like to join us!