(Barbara) Joan Ash (née Gracey) (June 1917 - 1998) was a sociologist and Labour Party politician.

Born as Barbara J K Gracey in Chislehurst she was daughter of Hugh Malcolm Kirkwood Gracey, an Indian army officer and Elsie nee Bosworth. In 1939 she married David R Thompson (died 1950) and became known as Mrs Barbara Thompson.

A graduate of Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. At the 1945 General Election she stood unsuccessfully at Harrow West. In 1946 she was elected to the London County Council as a councillor representing Fulham East. She was a member of the county council's housing committee. She was defeated at the next county council elections in 1949 when the Conservative Party won the three seats in Fulham East. She continued on the housing committee as a co-opted member until 1955. She made a second unsuccesful attempt to win the Harrow West parliamentary seat in 1951.

In 1952 she married Hans Asch or Ash in Wandsworth and became known as Mrs Joan Ash.

In 1958 she joined the Centre for Urban Studies, working in research on social housing. Her research group studied the London County Council's Lansbury Estate in Poplar and Westminster City Council's Churchill Gardens Estate. She went on to be Research Officer in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government from 1961 to 1966. She was subsequently a housing consultant and member of the Council of Housing Centre Trust. She was the author of a number of books and articles on social housing.


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