Born in Whitstable and educated at Simon Langton Grammar School in Canterbury, Ashley retired from Kent County Constabulary in 2004 as Head of its Frontier Operations Department following some 30 years' service much of which was spent working alongside French counterparts. He holds the Final Diploma of the Institute of Linguists in the French language.
Since retirement he has led the voluntary group that manages the award-winning Duncan Down at Whitstable having successfully increased it in size with three successful village green applications. He currently works as a Schools' History Guide and every year takes hundreds of schoolchildren to the battlefields of France and Belgium.
In addition he is actively involved as a School Governor at St Alphege Infants School, Whitstable and oversees Health and Safety and child protection at the Seasalter Christian Centre. In 2009 he received the Lord Mayor's award for service to the community. Ashley is widely travelled, a keen swimmer and diver, and likes to swim off Whitstable and Seasalter with his three Labradors.
He is a strong eurosceptic seeing himself as a traditional conservative and says "That means putting local people before party and not shying away from rattling cages when this needs to be done."