• Woking Council green bin overflowing - collect our bins!
    Petition: Sep 10, 2021

    Joint Waste Solutions are to suspend Green Waste collections in Woking for an indeterminate time, likely into 2022. Previously the hold on collections was due to end on 10th September, leading many residents to fill up their green waste bins in anticipation service resuming.

    These residents are now left with overflowing bins of rotted garden waste at a busy time in the garden, through no fault of their own. As a very minimum a final green waste collection should be put in place to clear these bins.

  • Woking's MP and 317 other MPs broke a manifesto commitment.
    Article: Sep 9, 2021

    The local Lib Dems have slammed local Conservative MP Jonathan Lord's choice to break their promise to the electorate and vote for a 1.25% rise in National Insurance.

    The changes, which go against the Tories' manifesto promise not to raise taxes, will mean hard-pressed local families and small businesses will be left paying hundreds of pounds more in tax each year.

  • Green Waste
    Article: Sep 8, 2021

    Local Liberal Democrats have been shocked to learn that Woking's garden waste will not be collected until 2022.

    The service has been suspended several times over the summer, with the latest hold on collections due to end on 10 September. Currently, garden waste bins are not being emptied and bulky waste collections are not available.

    Conservative Cllr Kevin Davis, wrote to councillors on 8 September announcing the suspension of the service for an indeterminate time, likely to run into 2022. He advised that garden waste subscribers would be informed by letter and that they have the option to cancel and receive a pro-rate refund. Subscribers will be compensated for missed collections but how that will be done is not yet known. Amey, who provide the service to Woking and other Surrey boroughs, are taking some action to resolve the crisis and are training 9 new drivers, but this process will take time.

    "Residents have overflowing bins, or extra bags of green waste at a busy time in the garden. They can take their green waste to the Community Recycling Centre, but this is at an extra cost for those whose vehicle is a van, unavailable to those without a vehicle and may be challenging for older residents or those with a disability," said Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Ann-Marie Barker "I have heard reports of green waste dumped on local commons and open spaces".

    "We have had no update on the bulky waste collection service offered by the Council. With that service unavailable I am concerned we may suffer even more fly-tipping locally" continued Cllr Barker.

    Cllr Barker has asked the Council:

    - For an update on the suspension of bulky waste collection services - to be told SERCO are doing a good job of collecting fly tipping

    - To ask Surrey County Council to a) offer assistance for older residents or those with mobility issues at Martyrs Lane and other recycling centres.b) relax rules on vans at recycling centres, for those bringing garden waste.

    - To provide information on reimbursement for missed collections promptly.

    "We all know a number of factors have caused this crisis," said Cllr Barker. "With the pingdemic over and the summer holiday period ended, the lack of drivers is clearly impacted by a backlog of HGV tests due to Covid; but it is likely those shortages could have been managed if we hadn't lost so many European drivers who were driven home by Brexit."

  • 5600 in Woking face universal credit cut
    Article: Sep 4, 2021

    As many as 13% of hard-pressed families across Woking face being left worse off when the Government end the uplift to Universal Credit next month.

    New data from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation exposes the true nature of how badly some areas will be hit by the £20 Universal Credit cut which is opposed by Will Forster and the local Lib Dems.

  • Will Forster outside SCC Quadrant Ct
    Article: Aug 31, 2021

    The Lib Dems have criticised the Conservative Leader of Surrey County Council for unilaterally writing to the Government asking for a County Deal for Surrey.

    On 10th August, Councillor Tim Oliver wrote to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, formally registering Surrey County Council's interest in more powers from Central Government as part of a County Deal for Surrey.

  • Will Forster
    Article: Aug 31, 2021

    The Lib Dems have challenged Surrey County Council over failures to answer data protection and freedom of information requests from local residents within legal time limits.

    During the last Cabinet meeting, Lib Dem Group Leader Will Forster asked how many enquiries were not responded to in the required time.

  • Article: Aug 24, 2021

    Woking Lib Dems are calling on the Government to make a more ambitious commitment to resettle refugees fleeing the Taliban, and to give Woking Borough Council extra funding to house and support them here.

    The Lib Dems have slammed the Government's commitment to resettle just 5,000 Afghan refugees across the UK over the next year, saying it "falls woefully short" of what is needed in response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis.

  • Teddy Bear
    Article: Aug 9, 2021

    The Good Law Project is taking legal action against Surrey County Council for sending children in care outside of Surrey.

    Lib Dem Group Leader on Surrey County Council, Will Forster, said:

    "This news comes as no surprise to my Lib Dem colleagues and I - we have regularly challenged the Council on its delivery of services to vulnerable children over many years, that it is now facing a legal challenge for failing in its statutory duty."

  • Cllr Ann-Marie Barker - Call for Council Finance review
    Article: Aug 3, 2021

    Liberal Democrats' succeeded in securing agreement for a full review of Woking Council finances at last week's Council meeting.

    The first Council business meeting since May's elections gave unanimous support for a review to look at all aspects of Woking's finances.

    "Liberal Democrats made a commitment to a full financial review in our election manifesto. "As a constructive opposition we put forward proposals for a review of council finances and I am delighted that this was supported by Council" said Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Ann-Marie Barker.

  • Surrey Young Care Leavers - Council Tax exemption
    Article: Jul 28, 2021
    By Cllr Will Forster

    The Lib Dems have secured support for measures that will result in all care leavers in Surrey being exempt from paying Council Tax from next April.

    In 2018, the Lib Dems won unanimous backing at Surrey County Council for a motion to exempt care leavers from paying tax until they are 25. Ten of Surrey's eleven Borough and District Councils have also already taken this step, Woking Borough Council was the first - and now Tandridge District Council has finally agreed to move into line with the rest of Surrey.

    Lib Dem Group Leader on Surrey County Council, Will Forster, said:

    "I am delighted that the aim of my motion will finally be realised, and all young care leavers in Surrey will be exempt from paying Council Tax. These young people have often faced significant challenges growing up, yet they leave home earlier and have less support than other young people. Without the family backup most young people receive, care leavers often struggle to juggle their household bills and make ends meet."

    "Although taking care Leavers out of the Council Tax system is no silver bullet, it will be a strong step in the right direction and will help these young people make a successful transition out of care."

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