Ash Madden
Rother District Council By-Election

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Ash Madden

We invited each candidate to supply a statement and photograph. We have published their submissions verbatim, no editorial changes have been made. Any errors are those of the candidate.

Party description: Labour Party candidate

This article is about Ash Madden’s candidacy for Eastern Rother in the Rother District Council by-election.  Please click here for the sister article about his candidacy for Rye and Eastern Rother in the East Sussex County Council election.  Because some residents are eligible to vote in both elections and some in only one, there is duplication in the articles but also key pledges specific to the role.

Time for a fresh start

A champion for you in Eastern Rother

Uniquely among the candidates here, I am standing for both District and County elections.  Voters tell me they’d like to see more joined up thinking from the Councils providing our services.  They’re often uncertain which council provides which service and would just like to see someone willing to take responsibility.  People who know me will tell you that I listen, I take the time to understand, I care, and I get things done.

The task ahead in Eastern Rother

I’ve been listening to local people about their concerns and the issues they face every day.  This is what you have told me you would like to see addressed:

  • Potholes, the condition of our roads and road safety
  • Planning decisions and enforcement
  • Provision of affordable housing for local people
  • Parking for residents and for shoppers
  • Provision of public services, such as libraries and social care
  • Paths, footpaths and cycleways
  • Pollution, including noise pollution
  • Speeding and anti-social behaviour
  • Public transport (or the lack thereof)
  • Poverty and the ongoing need for Food Banks.

Many of these issues span both District and County Councils.  A Councillor representing the interests of local people on both councils would be so much more effective.  Better still would be a Councillor willing and able to take action and backed by a Party in a position to influence Council policy.

The work of a Councillor

Council work is often about working efficiently and effectively on a tight budget, rather than about party politics.  That’s where my work experience comes in.  Over a 35-year business career, I’ve worked in organisations large and small.  I’ve been involved in business start-ups and know what it’s like to work on a tight budget.  I also know what it’s like to work in large, complex organisations with lots of moving parts.

My particular career specialisation is creating, developing and managing business partnerships. That involves working with many people from a broad range of backgrounds, disciplines and beliefs, while also achieving specific financial objectives under close scrutiny.  As your Labour councillor, I can help make the council not just more effective and efficient but fairer and more equal too.

Our councils work at their best when people from different perspectives collaborate and work together.  Being effective requires organisation, strong analytical skills, persuasion, discipline and a large helping of tenacity.  Those are the same skills I have developed in business.  My management experience will help residents receive the services they expect but within budget.

I work effectively with people from all walks of life to get stuff done.  I do this in a conscientious, compassionate and straightforward manner.  If elected, I would be part of the Rother Alliance created when Labour Councillors joined with Independent and Liberal Democrat Councillors.  Working together, the Alliance has developed a radical agenda to improve service delivery and bring local government closer to local people.

Our pledges

On Rother District Council, the Labour Party will:

Give local people a voice on local issues

Fight to protect public services

Make Rother District Council fairer and support those most in need

Protect our heritage and environment

Tackle the housing crisis.

About Ash

I was brought up in a family (one parent Conservative and one Labour) where disparate political opinions were discussed openly, and a working consensus was agreed.  The reason I mention this is because getting things done on our County and District Councils requires working together collaboratively with people from other parties and with differing views.

I have a long connection with the area and currently volunteer at Rye Food Bank where last year I helped provide more than 50 tonnes of food to people in need all around Camber, Icklesham, Winchelsea Beach, Iden, Peasmarsh, Rye Foreign and Rye Harbour.

You may have also seen me tootling around the area delivering growing kits and veg boxes for the Hands of Hope charity where I am a Trustee.  The electric van I use (owned by Hands of Hope) is charged with electricity from renewable sources.  Personally, I moved my pension savings into ethical funds as soon as I was able.

I was the first (and, at the time of writing, the only) candidate in this election to sign the Climate Action Pledge (https://seclimatealliance.uk/abcdpledge/).  I’m fully committed to each of the pledges and, while I think it’s great that Rother District Council has declared a climate emergency with a target of carbon neutrality by 2030, there is plenty more work to do here.

With my experience of optimising business partnerships, I will press for carbon neutrality to extend to Council suppliers and contractors too.  This would be a win-win for all concerned.

It will be a challenge to deliver the public services needed to support our recovery from the pandemic.  Many children and adults are disadvantaged and vulnerable.  Staff responsible for helping them are overworked and underpaid.  Our public services must be protected for the sake of us all.

I want to hear from you

In the current circumstances, I fully understand people having reservations about engaging with candidates (of any party) on the doorstep.  To that end, I’ve been telephoning local people to gather their opinions on the issues that matter most to them.  So, if you see an unfamiliar number come up on your phone, it might well be me!

I’d love to hear your opinions, concerns and questions.  Please email me at ash.madden@hastingsandryelabour.org.uk or call me on 07717 709772.  It’s great to hear from people and I love discussing what I could do to help if elected.

Published and promoted by Judy Rogers on behalf of Ash Madden both of Hastings & Rye Constituency Labour Party both at 84 Bohemia Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6RN.

Image Credits: Rob Brown https://www.robbrownphoto.com, Sosi Kaskanian https://www.hohcharity.co.uk, Sean Jordan https://www.Instagram.com/sean_j8, EJJ Madden & Sean Jordan https://www.Instagram.com/sean_j8.

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