• Care home
    Article: Feb 23, 2022

    Yesterday, Surrey County Council's Cabinet agreed to close eight residential care homes.

    Lib Dem Councillors have criticised the move which leaves the future of around 150 vulnerable residents in the balance with the risk they may end up being placed in accommodation further away from their family and paying more for the services they receive.

  • Thames Water Sewage
    Article: Feb 23, 2022

    Thames Water made over £485 million last year.

    Lib Dems demand 'Sewage Tax' to clean up rivers including the River Wey.

    New analysis by the Lib Dems has revealed Britain's nine water companies made a total £2.8 billion in combined operating profits last year.

    Thames Water, which dumps sewage in the River Wey, made an operating profit of £488.8 million last year. As a result of sewage dumping the River Wey is one of the worst 23% of rivers in terms of ecological and overall river health according to the Rivers Trust.

  • Pizza and Politics with Mark Pack
    Article: Feb 22, 2022
    By Rosemary McCrum

    We are pleased to be welcoming our Party President, Mark Pack, to Woking for the evening of Friday 18th March. I am sure he will be an interesting and thought provoking speaker.

    Not only will we have Mark as our speaker, but the evening will offer an opportunity for Party Members and our supporters to meet the excellent new candidates who will be standing on 5th May in the local elections.

  • Article: Feb 17, 2022
    At last week's Council meeting Woking Lib Dems refused to endorse 2022/23 budget produced by the WBC Executive citing the lack of credible evidence that the budget is affordable. Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, Leader of the Woking Lib Dems, explains the background in the attached video:
  • Pensioner Cost of Living Feb 2022
    Article: Feb 17, 2022

    Almost 17,000 pensioners in Woking left out in the cold as broken triple lock promise creates cost of living black hole

    The Lib Dems have accused the Conservatives of leaving pensioners in Woking with a "hole in their pocket" after breaking a manifesto promise to protect the state pension.

    In the wake of inflation hitting a thirty year high of 5.5% in January, a typical pensioner in Woking is set to see their income fall by £171.60 this year in real terms. This is a total loss of income of £2,895,235 between 16,872 pensioners in Woking due to the Tory Government's decision to break a key manifesto promise and scrap the triple lock on pensions.

  • Woking White Ribbon - Ellen nicholson
    Article: Feb 13, 2022

    Following a motion from Lib Dem Councillor Ellen Nicholson, Woking Borough Council has made a commitment to tackling violence against women and girls.

    Ellen Nicholson, one of the Lib Dem Councillors for Mount Hermon, said:

    "I am delighted that my motion proposing that Woking Borough Council work towards becoming a White Ribbon accredited authority received unanimous support in the chamber on Thursday night. This is a really important and timely issue given the rise in domestic violence during the pandemic and the horrific murders we have seen in the news over the last year."

  • Woking Council No Confidence Boris
    Article: Feb 13, 2022

    Woking Borough Council has agreed a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister following the partygate scandal.

    The Council voted to censure Boris Johnson after the initial findings of the Sue Gray report found that the parties held in Downing Street during covid lockdowns were both "difficult to justify" and "failures of leadership and judgement".

  • Will Forster Ambulance
    Article: Feb 9, 2022

    The latest statistics from NHS England, reveal that 30,662 patients are waiting to start treatment at Ashford and St Peter's Hospital.

    The stats show that some 5,714 patients have been left waiting over 18 weeks after their referral to treatment, while almost 100 have been waiting over a whole year.

  • Annual Repayments £60m
    Article: Feb 8, 2022

    There is a new disease in Westminster called "Deny the Facts, Sell the Fiction" it seems to be highly infectious and has now spread to Woking.

    As Woking Council sets its budgets this week councillors are asking if a local authority can afford to take on such huge debts. This question is neither asked nor answered in the Council's medium term financial strategy.

    Councillors are being asked to confirm that it is prudent to increase the Council's long term borrowing from the current £1.84 billion to £2.4 billion.
    "Can Woking Council afford to take on such huge debts in the current financial climate?" asks Liberal Democrat Leader Ann-Marie Barker "We haven't seen the evidence that the Council can afford the repayments"

    Taking on a Loan has consequences - ask any bank if you can borrow hundreds of thousands to buy a house and you will be asked lots of questions to determine whether you can afford the repayments and still feed your family, pay for your car, pay your credit card bills, clothe your children and heat your home.

    Council income is declining, interest rates on new loans look set to rise. The Council's capital investment plans are "bold and ambitious", but can we afford them?

    The financial review produced for the Council by EY highlights the reliance of the Council on its wholly owned companies to service debts. "The risk is driven by the ability of the Council's investment position to help service these loans, with the performance of the group companies integral to Council's ability to pay back debt" say EY.

    "The concern is that the group companies will not generate enough revenue to support these payments" explained Cllr Barker.

    "These are serious issues the Council will face in the coming years" points out Cllr Barker. Liberal Democrats instigated the Financial Review to get a real understanding of the Council's financial position. We now need to act on the risks identified by EY and to move ahead promptly with a review of the purpose, performance and potential of Council companies to ensure they are delivering for residents. In particular, we need to make hard decisions on Thameswey Central Milton Keynes, which has cost £30 million to date and which, it was recently revealed, will not show a return until the 2060's."

  • Surrey PCC Balooning Office
    Article: Feb 7, 2022

    Lib Dem Councillors on the Surrey Police and Crime Panel have criticised the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for raising Council Tax and drawing on reserves to expand their own office's budget by 17% to £3.3 million a year, while Surrey Police will have to make do with 50 fewer frontline staff than they need to address performance issues.

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