As nominations close…

Ash Madden.

Nominations closed for the county and district council elections this year on last Friday, April 9, and East Sussex County Council leader Keith Glazier is standing again in Rye and Eastern Rother division against Ash Madden from the Labour Party and Dominic Manning from the Green Party.

In the Eastern Rother Ward of Rother District Council (RDC) Lizzie Hacking had already announced she was standing in place of Sally-Ann Hart, who is now the Member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye.

She will be opposed by Kate Lamb for the Liberal Democrats and Ash Madden for the Labour Party in this RDC by-election.

Ash Madden had already submitted an article to Rye News (see below) which was held over with other articles for production reasons until this week and, as editor, I look forward to publishing formal statements from all the candidates if they submit them by April 20 for publication on Friday April 23. Voting does not take place until May 6 between 7am and 10pm, but it is possible because of the Covid-19 pandemic that more people may decide to vote earlier by post (if they apply in time).

Time for a change? 

“I am proud to have been selected by Rye and District Labour Party, writes Ash Madden, to stand as both county and district council candidate in the upcoming local elections on May 6.

I have a long connection with this area and currently volunteer at Rye Food Bank, where last year we provided more than 50 tonnes of food to people in need all around the area. You may well have seen me out and about collecting donations, moving stock and delivering food parcels.

I’m also often seen delivering organic veg boxes and growing kits for the Hands of Hope charity in Peasmarsh where I volunteer as well.

I was brought up in a family (one parent Tory 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.

About getting stuff done

Council work is often about getting stuff done efficiently and effectively on a tight budget, rather than about party politics. That’s where my work experience comes in. I’ve worked in many organisations both large and small. I’ve been involved in business start-ups and I know what it’s like to work on a tight or even non-existent budget.

I am conscientious, compassionate and straightforward. I listen to people and their concerns. 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!

In the current circumstances, I fully understand people have reservations about engaging with candidates (of any party) on the doorstep. So, much as I would like to, I won’t be knocking on your door just yet. But I’d love to hear your opinions, concerns and questions. Please email me at or call me on 07717 709772.

As your Labour councillor, I would help make the councils not just more effective and efficient, but fairer and more equal too”.

Image Credits: Sean Jordan www.Instagram/sean_j8 .


  1. It’s good to hear from a candidate with genuine roots in and a demonstrable commitment to local people. Your point about local politics and a desire to get on with people of differing views is so important in what feels like an increasingly fractured world and something most residents of small towns and communities will be familiar with. Good luck Ash.

  2. With the forthcoming election imminent, i do hope people cast their political affiliation side,and we elect the right candidate to represent us in this town.Its a longtime since we had the likes of Sam Souster, labour at district level,and Peter jones at county level,fighting our corner, So many problems that have been ignored over the past few years,like the state of our paths and our streets in town, the ongoing issue of noise and pollution, the dangerous crossing at the top of the harbour road, we need someone who will represent us all,and not have their own agenda once elected.

  3. If you are looking to vote for someone who has shown week in and week out that they are committed to the local community, then you should look no further than Ashleigh Madden. As someone who is an Icklesham Parish Councillor and is the Manager of a local branch of a charity that helps people who find themselves with unmanageable debt, I have experienced his commitment and his undoubted abilities first hand. There is no other candidate in Eastern Rother who can match this.

  4. A key issue for Rye is the noise and speeding from motorbikes. I urge all residents who care about this to vote for candidates from any party who are willing to do something, finally, about this important issue. I have heard from the Environmental Agency and the police that they are unable to do anything about the free parking motorbikes are rewarded with in Rye until local council representatives stand up and support all residents who are as frustrated as me by the attraction of coming to Rye to park for free; lawbreaking by congregating together without masks and in larger numbers than allowed by the government; and speeding loudly into and out of Rye. Please ask every candidate if they are willing to take action about this issue.

      • Ash, as with all council people, “time to take action” appears to be a repeat of politics… Could all candidates be specific regarding the “actions” they will drive through? road signs of “please be more thoughtful” are in place. Requests for less speed to motorbikers have been made. I think community residents at this point deserve real concrete actions. My own idea is stop the free parking for motorbikers in Rye- and make them pay for coming to this town. We can use the money to build the speed reducing measures others have been calling for. Is this an example of an action you and the other candidates are willing to stand up and say you will drive through if I vote for you?

        • Hi Abigail,

          Thanks for your feedback. I am not (yet) a “council person”. But if elected, I will take action.

          We should be under no illusion that this will be an easy problem to solve. It will require a concerted and coordinated effort from many people and agencies (I can think of at least 10 immediately). Fortunately, I have a lot of experience of bringing diverse parties together in partnership to get things done. Enforcing existing laws on speeding, noise, pollution and anti-social behaviour should be any citizen’s minimum expectation.

          This is a great question to ask candidates (including those for the Police and Crime Commissioner election). It would be even better to ask the existing councillors and PCC what they’ve done to allow this problem to persist so that it badly affects people’s lives.

          On your specific point about charging for parking, this has already been the subject of a lengthy debate ( and you can read Rye Town Council’s response in their minutes here:

          Hopefully, people will agree that something has to change.

  5. It’s good to see our East Sussex County Council leader Keith Glazier standing again in Rye.
    Any chance he could be approached for a few words. They don’t necessarily have to be comments on motorcyclists. I quite understand if he’s too busy to speak to this publication.

    • Is it? I can only presume you’re being sarcastic. He rarely responds on anything to do with Rye, more interested in chairing a plethora of meeting across East Sussex than dealing with our problems. Not a single comment on the cycle paths which have been in Rye News in the past month or so.


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