Fringe Box



Letter: More Awareness of Ash’s Population Problem is Required

Published on: 8 Dec, 2023
Updated on: 8 Dec, 2023

From: John Ferns

David Reading’s great article (Key Question Remains Over Rising Ash Population: Can Schools Cope?) deserves wider circulation on social media, especially among all the new families settling, or who have settled into Ash during the last two years.

The fact that Ash Grange is restricted to 30 new entrants and there are potentially 66 on the books, according to SCC, with a closing date for applications for September 2024 in 39 days, speaks volumes, with new families taking up residence all the time in all the many new developments in Ash.

Questions need to be asked of, and answers given by our local elected representatives, both of whom live within walking distance of the school, Cllrs Carla Morson and Fiona White. Both of whom are Lib Dem members of SCC & GBC, Cllr Morson being the divisional councillor for Ash but who is also a co-opted member of the Ash Grange school’s governing body.

Cllr White (Guildford West) is also a member of the, all singing and dancing, SCC Education Committee (full title: Children, Families, Lifelong Learning and Culture Select Committee). They should both be well-placed to comment.

Furthermore, Cllr Fiona Davidson (R4GV) is the chair of that committee in SCC.

Are they all happy that the headmistress of this popular local school, with its 2010 ‘Good’ Ofsted’ rating has not been advised or invited to submit proposals for how all this money raised for her school might be spent? Is there a case to be made? What are they doing about it? Or do the officials at SCC operate in a total vacuum when they decide how much should be asked of developers for Section 106 [compensatory] infrastructure projects which guide local authority planning committees?

The bulk of development in the west of GBC is within Ash, and not Tongham, yet there has been a very recent public consultation on adding to the size, and scope of St Paul’s in Tongham, in the newly reconfigured Pilgrims division, headed by Cllr Matt Furniss (Con), a Cabinet member at SCC.

The only local elected representative that comes out with any credit is the independently minded Cllr Wyeth-Price (R4GV) with her detailed study and knowledge. Her passion is an example to others.

Methinks, another article in Private Eye’s ‘Rotten Boroughs’ is long overdue.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: More Awareness of Ash’s Population Problem is Required

  1. John Ferns Reply

    January 23, 2024 at 10:27 pm

    As a follow up, Ash Grange was described last September, as ‘the second most difficult primary school to get into in the county. Just 29 of the 58 parents who put it down as a first choice received an offer for a place’.

    Applications for the coming school year have just closed, so it should be known what the current situation is.

    And not a ‘peep’ out of the Lib/Dem cohort of elected ward Cllrs, in whose ward this school lies.

    How strange, given their prominent representation within SCC. Just what are they doing for their Ash Wards?

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *