Woking and Surrey local news

  • Will Forster at Fire Station
    Article: Sep 29, 2020

    During August a major incident was declared on Chobham Common due to a huge fire. A lot of local residents had to be evacuated, roads closed and around 30% of this Site of Special Scientific Interest - over 500 acres - was destroyed.

    A whistle-blower firefighter has since come forward to say that this giant fire started as typical small grass fire, which ordinarily should have been extinguished in hours, yet the fire took ten days to put out.

  • Article: Sep 29, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    At their Autumn Conference this weekend the Lib Dems have agreed proposals that would see the BBC licence fee level set independently next year after Government cuts forced the BBC to end free TV licences for most over-75s.

    As of 1st August 2020, TV licences are now only free for people over the age of 75 if they are receiving pension credit. According to analysis by the Lib Dems this dramatic cut has impacted 5,650 households in Woking.

  • Will Forster by Victoria Arch Woking
    Article: Sep 23, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Next week, work will start to demolish the 'Triangle' buildings just south of Victoria Arch on Woking's A320 gyratory.

    This is the first stage of a £115m collaboration between Network Rail, Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council to replace Victoria Arch and change the highway network south of the railway bridge.

  • Ann-Marie Barker
    Article: Sep 21, 2020

    "It's a huge relief" said local Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, as news broke of a government u-turn which scuppers Surrey County Council's democratic power grab.

    The government had been widely expected to release a white paper in September which promoted unitary authorities. The plans would have combined current councils and taken local democracy further away from residents. The Conservatives who run Surrey County Council knew the government proposals were coming and had spent months planning their power grab of local councils like Woking.

  • Diversion Map - Lockfield Drive
    Article: Sep 17, 2020
    Lib Dem Councillors have criticised Surrey County Council's planned closure of a section of Lockfield Drive for 13 weeks.
    The County Council recently announced that Lockfield Drive, between Bampton Way and Robin Hood Roundabout, will be closed from 21st September for approximately 13 weeks to repair a pedestrian bridge. Following the news of the road closure, Lib Dem Councillors have written to the Cabinet Member for Transport at County Hall asking why the road needs to closed for 13 weeks and why the announcement was made less than a week before the closure is to start.
    They also expressed serious concerns about the official diversion route, which is north of Goldsworth Park and Horsell, via Chobham Road, Kettlewell Hill and Littlewick Road. This is a huge diversion which will add a significant amount of time to motorists' journeys. There are fears that the road closure of Lockfield Drive will result in the quiet roads of Goldsworth Park and St John's being used as unofficial diversion routes.
    Lib Dem Borough Councillor for Goldsworth Park, Ann-Marie Barker, said:
    "I am appalled that the County Council wants to close a section of Lockfield Drive for 13 weeks. Woking's highway network won't be able to cope without Lockfield Drive for that length of time, the road will effectively be closed until Christmas. We need to know what alternatives to this lengthy closure have been considered."
    "This closure will add a significant diversion to motorists' journeys, adding to the lengthy roadworks in Woking town centre. With all the extra traffic that will inevitably go through Goldsworth Park, I really worry about safety. Our residential roads cannot be used as an alternative to an A road."
  • Article: Sep 17, 2020

    The Lib Dems are calling for an extension of the Government's furlough scheme until the jobs market is "ready to bounce back" in the wake of "staggering job losses" across the country.

    With 2,940 people now relying on Universal Credit in Woking, the Party claims that extending furlough would help "stop this crisis getting even worse" and protect jobs for the future.

  • Article: Sep 17, 2020

    Surrey County Council is set to install on-street electric vehicle charging points in Woking.

    The Council agreed yesterday to create 20 on-street parking bays, spread across 5 locations in Woking, especially for the purpose of enabling electric cars to charge up their batteries.

    Church Street East, Maybury Road, Montgomery Road and Oriental Road in Woking and Madeira Road in West Byfleet have been chosen as the locations for on-street electric vehicles charging points. Two 22kW fast charging units will be installed at each site, giving capacity for four cars to charge simultaneously.

  • Woking's MP - Breaking International Law
    Article: Sep 17, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Lib Dem Will Forster has today written to Woking's MP and challenged them to oppose Boris Johnson's attempts to break international law.

    The move comes after MPs yesterday backed the UK Internal Market Bill at the first hurdle, including Woking's Jonathan Lord. The new law would give the Government the power to override parts of the Brexit agreement with the EU, breaking international law.

  • Will Forster supporting NHS hospital in Woking
    Article: Sep 9, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    The Lib Dems are calling on the Government to honour the contribution of foreign nationals working in the NHS and social care during the coronavirus crisis, by granting them and their families indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

    Lib Dems Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine, who is asking the public to join her campaign, warned "if someone is prepared to risk their life for this country, they must be allowed to live in it."

  • Ann-Marie Barker
    Article: Sep 3, 2020
    By Cllr Ann-Marie Barker

    As Woking took tentative steps out of lockdown, news broke of a massive power grab by Conservatives at Surrey County Council. In July this year Surrey County leader Tim Oliver announced his ambition to centre democratic control for all of Surrey at County Hall.

    Surrey County Council commissioned consultants PWC to produce a report showing abolishing Woking and other local councils in Surrey would save money. The Conservative run authority wrote to the government about their plans which tie in with government proposals for reorganisation of local government.