A Liberal Democrat Vision for Woking
Lib Dem Group Leader, Councillor Ann-Marie Barker, introduces the Lib Dems' manifesto for the Woking Borough Council elections on Thursday May 5th 2022.
Councillor Barker said:
Concern is high about Woking Council finances. Borrowing stands at almost £2 billion pounds. Repayments of £60 million have to be found every year. This is why the Liberal Democrats secured a Financial Review. Thankfully the review didn't reveal a catastrophic situation, but it did raise concerns on how the Council will afford repayments in future.
Liberal Democrats commit to financial responsibility and openness. We will ensure financial concerns are addressed, be prudent in future council borrowing and consult local people on the Council budget.
There are many complaints about the existing towers of Victoria Square and the planned towers on Goldsworth Road, the tallest of which will be 37 storeys, with just one staircase. If only a Master Plan for the town centre had been in place the government inspector may not have been able to overturn the local decision for refusal. The Conservative failure to deliver a Master Plan has left us with a legacy of skyscrapers.
Liberal Democrats will develop a local vision for our area. We will deliver a Master Plan for Woking and work with local people on neighbourhood plans and protecting our town and village centres.
Retail, office space and leisure have all been impacted by Covid. The Conservative answer seems to be even higher parking charges.
We need a vibrant local economy fit for the new normal. A Liberal Democrat council will offer flexible workspaces in our offices, accessibility through safe car and cycle parking and flexible parking offers. We will provide more electric charging points for cars and bikes.
The cost of a home is beyond many local people, whether renting or buying.
Liberal Democrats will provide affordable homes. We will seek the highest proportion of affordable homes in new developments and bring forward Council owned land for affordable homes.
Woking declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and much planning has been done to towards achieving this but we need action and local people involved. Our area is blighted by fly tipping and there is more we can do to green local homes.
Liberal Democrats want a green and safe Borough. We will work with local people to achieve carbon neutral. We will make it easier to dispose of unwanted items and use CCTV to catch flagrant fly tippers.
The Council's playground refurbishment programme is running over 10 years late and Woking Park could be improved. We need more outdoor activities for older children.
Liberal Democrats want leisure and wellbeing for all and will put in place a new programme of playground refurbishment, provide more equipment for children of all abilities to use and seek to provide more outdoor activities for older children.
Please see the full manifesto here.