Coronavirus Information

It is likely to be a tough time for all of us over the next few weeks and months as the coronavirus crisis continues.

It is vital we all take Coronavirus seriously and follow the advice being given. Your Woking Lib Dem team want to make sure everyone here is able to access the most up to date advice and support.

UK Government guidance states we should all, unless we are keyworkers, be staying at home. We can still leave home to buy essential food and medicines and for one form of exercise a day, but maintain social distance from others when we do. Those self-isolating or part of a vulnerable group should stay at home.

The NHS and the Government is regularly updating their advice here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Surrey County Council's libraries and other public facing non-essential services have closed, bus services are running on a reduced timetable and local schools are only open for key workers.

Surrey County Council has launched a dedicated helpline number: 0300 200 1008. This community phone line is to help direct residents who need support such as picking up shopping, prescriptions or having someone who can be a telephone friend, to those services who can provide them.

Please see the latest updates from Surrey County Council here: www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/emergency-planning-and-community-safety/coronavirus/council-services.

Woking Borough Council has closed its Community Centres, HG Wells, leisure facilities and playgrounds. See the latest information on Woking Borough Council's services here: www.woking.gov.uk/coronavirus-service-updates.

We know our community is at its best when we pull together and I know we want to support each other as best we can right now. Volunteer groups are being set up to support the most vulnerable. If you are able to help out, you can find your nearest group by visiting this website: www.covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/.

Lib Dem Councillor Will Forster said:

"Many people will be anxious about the steps the Government has taken ordering an effective lockdown of the country, but it is the right decision to restrict our normal way of life to tackle this crisis."

"We must do all we can to stop the spread of Coronavirus and I urge people to play their part by following the guidelines, and not risk their own or others' health and wellbeing by ignoring guidelines - please stay safe."


  • Article: Jul 13, 2020
    By Cllr Ann-Marie Barker

    Local Councils that provide all services make sense, but not a super state

    Speaking following the announcement that the County Council wants to become the sole authority for all of Surrey Cllr Ann-Marie Barker said:

    "Not since HG Wells penned his tale of Martian invasion have Surrey towns been under such threat from a single body seeking to create a super state."

  • Article: Jul 9, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Figures published by Surrey County Council have revealed a huge rise in the cost of senior staff pay in just 12 months.

    The information published by the Council has revealed that the number of its senior officers earning over £50,000 has increased from 407 in 2018/19 to 558 in 2019/20. The number of those being paid between £50,000 - £54,999 has increased from 127 to 212.

  • Article: Jul 8, 2020
    By Cllr Ann-Marie Barker

    Liberal Democrat Leader frustrated at Conservative failure to provide financial information to councillors and public

    Woking Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Ann-Marie Barker this week revealed her frustration at the Conservative Council's failure to provide forecasts on the likely future impact of Covid on Council finances to councillors and residents.

  • Article: Jul 7, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    The Lib Dems are calling for greater powers for Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council to take action on carbon emissions as figures show progress to cut emissions across the UK has stalled since 2016.

    In Woking emissions have fallen from 450 kilotons of carbon emissions in 2016 to 401 in 2018. Across Surrey emissions have gone down too from almost 6,500 in 2016 to just over 6,000 in 2018. However, both reductions are not fast enough to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

  • Article: Jun 30, 2020

    The Lib Dems have called on the Government to commit to a Summer Learning Fund that would support almost 1,500 disadvantaged children across Woking to get ready for returning to school.

    Lib Dem Education Spokesperson Layla Moran, who welcomed the Government's u-turn on free school meals, warned further action was needed to "ensure no child is left behind."

  • Liberal lockdown podcast logo
    Article: Jun 26, 2020

    We have just released the first episode of our new Liberal Lockdown podcast! Hosts Adam Kirby and Louise McElhinney - two of our 2021 Woking Borough Council candidates - are on a mission to find out how the lockdown has affected people and businesses in and around Woking. This first episode provides an insight into how Adam and Louise have adapted to the 'new normal', such as switching boardrooms for Zoom whilst working from home, dusting off their knowledge of the world for some home schooling and delivering prescriptions and cakes to those in need.

  • Anne-Marie Barker (Woking Lib Dems)
    Article: Jun 25, 2020
    By Cllr Ann-Marie Barker

    I am very sad for Woking Football Club that planning permission for their much hoped for redevelopment was refused at this week's planning committee. I would have been even sadder if planning permission had been granted. The flawed development plan put forward would have had an unacceptable impact on the local area whilst being in no way guaranteed to give the club the sustainable financial future it needs.

  • Graham Chrystie Streetscene3
    Article: Jun 25, 2020

    Liberal Democrat councillor Graham Chrystie has welcomed news that a new developer has been found for Sheer House in West Byfleet.

    Residents have been dismayed by the recent rapid decline of the area caused mainly by the loss of the Post Office on 30th March 2020. Now our key large Chemist and pharmacy is scheduled to close on 5th August. The closure will leave us with one small Chemist which is not open on Saturday. Last year another Chemist closed and the news of the loss in August of the excellent Boots has come as a body blow to the community. Our Health Centre is understood to dispense perhaps the highest number of prescriptions in Surrey and residents value the help from competent and helpful staff and our pharmacist.

    Sheer House decay and the declining area around it have dragged down the area for some time now and our formerly vibrant village needs regeneration fast. Popular shops have closed and I am delighted that Retirement Villages have purchased the site and are keen to start work in the autumn. There is great potential for a really good development complimenting the village and I understand that the existing outline plans will likely form the basis of a revised Scheme.

    I have urged the new developers to do their best to secure a new major Chemist as soon as possible and will continue my efforts to try to attract a new Chemist. The developers have informed me they are already at work on the issue. Attracting new retail tenants to an exciting new West Byfleet with a blend of shops should increase the footfall which should be enhanced by the tasteful and attractive Broadoaks development which seems to be progressing quickly.

    I relish working with the new developers who seem keen to be keen to work with stakeholders to produce a fresh Sheer House and complimentary village centre , said Cllr Chrystie.

  • Article: Jun 24, 2020

    Last night Woking Council's Planning Committee voted overwhelmingly to refuse plans to build 1,100 flats and a 9,000 capacity stadium at Woking Football Club's ground in Kingfield and Westfield.

    Following speeches against the proposals by a representative of the South Woking Action Group and local councillors, members of the Planning Committee agreed that the plans for 5 blocks of flats, up to 11 storeys high, would be inappropriate for the local area and would contravene planning policy.

  • Will Forster and Woking Lib Dems support stopping Brexit
    Article: Jun 23, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Lib Dem campaigner Will Forster has called on Woking's MP to back calls for a review of the no-deal Brexit impact assessments in light of the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

    In a letter addressed to Woking's MP, Jonathan Lord, Lib Dem spokesperson Will Forster said: "as the Prime Minister continues to refuse to rethink his position on accepting an extension to the transition period it is time the facts were laid bare about what this will mean for our country."

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