Baroness Anelay of St John's - President

Prior to her appointment to the House of Lords, Lady Anelay held a number of senior posts in the Conservative Party organisation. She was Chairman of the Conservative Women's National Committee from 1993 to 1996. She was made OBE in 1990 and raised to Dame Commander in 1995. She was made a life peer as Baroness Anelay of St Johns in 1996.

Cllr Melanie Whitehand, Chairman

Melanie was elected Chairman in March 2017 and was previously Deputy Chairman Political. Melanie has lived in Woking for twenty years. She is married with two girls who both now live and work away from home. Melanie was brought up in Bethnal Green in East London and she attended Spitalfield’s Girls Grammar School located in the City of London. Upon leaving school she joined Barclays Bank in their Head Office also in the City. Later in life she worked in the health sector in various administrative positions. She had the opportunity to live in Germany for some years as a result of her husband’s position within his company.

Steve Dorsett - Deputy Chairman Political

Steve has been our Deputy Chairman Political since March of 2019, after serving as our Election Strategy Officer. Steve grew up in the Woking area, going to school at Fullbrook in New Haw, has lived in West Byfleet and Pyrford and now resides in Knaphill. He has spent most of his career as an actor and musician, performing in shows in London, national tours of the UK and in international European Tours. His "claim to fame" is that he appeared on a singing reality game show back in 2014 and ended up winning the series! He still performs with his band "In Deep" around the South East. He entered the political world in 2016 and has slowly climbed the ladder, running for borough council in St. John's Ward in 2018. He is a school governor and also manages our rapidly growing Facebook pages.

Mike Hopgood - Treasurer

Mike has been a member of the officer team for a number of years having previously served as Deputy Chairman (Fundraising). He has responsibility for raising the money the Association needs to carry out its activities.

Cllr Simon Ashall - Constituency Agent

Simon Ashall trained as a journalist before moving into public relations. He joined the Association in 2009 and stood as a candidate in Horsell West in 2010. The year after, he became Deputy Chairman of the Association.A member of Jonathan Lord's campaign team in 2010, Simon has focussed on improving voter communications and literature and was appointed as the Association's Agent in 2013. In 2018 he was elected as the borough councillor for Heathlands

Charles Croker

Charles is a professional accountant having been a financial director of a large manufacturing company. He has set up his own software company and managed software companies for other international organisations.

Jonny Cope - Election Strategy Officer

Jonny is our Election Strategy Officer responsible for assisting the Deputy Chairman Political with our preparations for election campaigns.  Away from politics, Jonny works as a solicitor and is a big Fulham fan.

Elizabeth Bowes

Liz Bowes represents the Pyrford Division on Surrey County Council and is constantly in touch with local residents and residents associations about key local issues. Liz sits on the Woking Local Committee and the Safer and Stronger Communities Select Committee.

Keith Witham

Keith was elected as a County Councillor in 2012 as representative for the Worplesdon Division, which includes Normandy, Pirbright and Worplesdon, (including Fairlands, Jacobs Well, Wood Street Village and Worplesdon). All the above villages are within the Borough of Guildford.

Keeping residents In Touch on SCC/Surrey, Guildford and local village issues.
Keith issues a quarterly newsletter to residents via email; if you would like to receive that just email a request with your name and postal address and postcode to Keith at:

For regular updates on what Keith is doing see his Facebook page:

Colin Kemp

Colin Kemp was elected as Borough Councillors for Horsell West in 2014. Also the County Councillor for the area, he has been working hard for residents on issues of parking, highways, schools and helping Horsell's community thrive through better infrastructure. Colin is also Chairman of Governors at St John the Baptist School.