Woking and Surrey local news

  • Article: Nov 30, 2020

    Following a request from Councillor Will Forster at last week's Police and Crime Panel the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner agreed to work with the Ministry of Justice to try to reopen the former Magistrates' Court in Woking.

    Cuts to the justice system coupled with the pandemic lockdown have resulted in a huge backlog of court cases across the country. In the criminal courts the situation is so bad that there are now 558,000 outstanding cases; 509,347 cases waiting to be heard in Magistrates' Courts and 48,713 in Crown Courts.

    Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner is already working with the Ministry of Justice, the HM Courts & Tribunals Service and others in the justice system on tackling the backlog in the courts. Capacity at Guildford Crown Court has recently been expanded by installing a portacabin and rebuilding one of its courtrooms to enable 5 court cases to take place there.

    Lib Dem Councillor Will Forster, said:

    "To help clear the court backlog and get justice for victims of crime I am pleased the authorities will look at reopening the Woking Magistrates' Court. The court closed ten years ago and is now used as a Coroner's Court, but it could clearly be used for criminal cases as well."

    "Years of cuts have stretched the justice system to breaking point. The Government needs to build a more effective judicial system as we come out of the pandemic and this should include reopening Woking's Magistrates' Court. We cannot allow justice delayed to become justice denied."

  • Article: Nov 30, 2020

    We have all become more aware of the need for free school meals in the last few months, but child food poverty did not start with the covid pandemic.

    That is why the Lib Dems are calling on Surrey County Council to take steps to address this growing problem across the county.

    Surrey is a comparatively wealthy county, but this generalisation hides a number of uncomfortable truths about the level of poverty experienced by those living in some of its poorer areas. Some families are already struggling to put food on the table for children in a county where housing costs are four times less affordable than the national average and are amongst the highest in the country.

  • Ellen Nicholson
    Article: Nov 28, 2020

    Our NHS is bearing the brunt of this pandemic. Would the system collapse with the influx of COVID-19 patients? What about cancer patients requiring regular treatment or those booked for routine operations? Ellen Nicholson is a nurse, health researcher for the Liberal Democrats and chair of the General Practice Nurse Forum for the Royal College of Nursing. If that wasn't enough, she's our 2021 candidate for Mount Hermon & Woking South East. In this podcast Ellen, interviewed by Adam Kirby and Dale Roberts, talks us through the digital appointment revolution, her thoughts on herd immunity and the incredible work going on behind the scenes to keep the NHS serving those who need it most.

  • Ed Davey reading to children
    Article: Nov 26, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Will Forster and the Lib Dems are asking people across Woking who care for relatives to get in touch and share their story - to mark national Carers Rights Day.

    Lib Dem Party Leader Ed Davey has said he wants the party wants to be a "strong voice" for the millions across the country - including the 9,817 people in Woking who care for those who need it.

  • Paul Kennedy
    Article: Nov 25, 2020

    The Lib Dem Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, Paul Kennedy, is calling on Surrey's current Commissioner to take action to stop the 101 service being overwhelmed by the pandemic, as Lib Dem research reveals 30-40% of non-emergency calls to Surrey Police went unanswered in late summer.

    In August alone nearly 10,000 callers - representing 32% of total 101 calls - gave up in the face of a 4 minute average waiting time, while nearly 1,000 callers had to wait more than 20 minutes to get through.

  • Article: Nov 20, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    The local Lib Dems have welcomed the Early Day Motion tabled by Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper which raises concerns regarding the proposed new M25/A3 junction alongside RHS Wisley.

    In the motion Daisy Cooper MP highlights RHS Wisley's concerns around the impact the proposal will have on 44 trees along their boundary with the A3, including the felling of 17 Grade II Heritage trees and 27 other trees being negatively impacted by the undermining of their root strength. She also notes local concerns from residents and the local councils about the wider environmental impact as a result of the unnecessary extra mileage and inevitable increased pollution created by the junction, ending with a call for the Government to stop the proposal and require Highways England to consider and implement an alternative approach.

  • Postbox
    Article: Nov 20, 2020

    The Woking Lib Dems are calling on the Royal Mail to allow people to send cards, letters and parcels to loved ones in care homes for free for the rest of the year.

    It comes as Irish postal service, An Post, has announced it will carry letters, large envelopes, packets and parcels up to 2 kg addressed to residents in nursing and care homes for free until 31st January.

  • Liberal lockdown podcast logo
    Article: Nov 13, 2020

    Unnecessary packaging and unsustainable products are intertwined with our everyday lives. It doesn't have to be this way: Re-fill your shampoo bottles, don't throw them away! Swap to the metal straws, bamboo toothbrushes and reusable menstrual products that are filling our shelves.

    Our latest Liberal Lockdown podcast episode with Mel Hemmings, founder of Woking's first zero waste shop Bare + Fair, joins us to share her eco-friendly top tips for consumers and businesses alike. Listen with one click on the green play button below - no registration required! We're also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your favourite podcast.

  • Article: Nov 10, 2020

    "As we return to a national lockdown, we again stand together in our shared purpose of protecting and supporting our community during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    "With cases continuing to rise, both locally and nationally, it is now more important than ever that we play our part in reducing the spread of the virus by following these new government restrictions to keep Woking safe.

    "It is vitally important that if you develop Covid-19 symptoms you must self-isolate and book yourself a test immediately.

    "Our commitment to our communities remains strong. Those in need will continue to receive the essential support they need. The most vulnerable and isolated within our communities will continue to receive regular welfare calls safeguarding their wellbeing. We continue to support local charities delivering food parcels to those families in need.

    "Any borough resident requiring support or advice should call Woking Borough Council call on 01483 755855.

    "We were all inspired by the incredible community spirit shown by residents and businesses during the previous lockdown. Staffed by an army of dedicated volunteers, local groups supported their communities by picking up shopping, collecting prescriptions or simply offering a listening ear. These groups are the essence of community spirit and we will be supporting them again.

    "We also understand the impact this second lockdown will have on local business. Many had overcome the challenges of adapting their businesses to our new normal and were getting back on their feet before these latest restrictions were introduced. Be assured, we are here for them again and will be administering the government support schemes.

    We recognise that our community, like the rest of the country, has already made many sacrifices to our cherished way of life. Yet we are in this together and we must do everything we can to look after each other.

    "By following government advice to socially distance and stay at home, we can all look forward to returning to a sense of normality as soon as possible.

    "For more information about council services, government and health advice, how to book a test, accessing help and support and assistance for businesses, please visit www.woking.gov.uk/coronavirus>"

    Cllr Ayesha Azad
    Leader of Woking Borough Council, Conservative Party

    Cllr Ann-Marie Barker
    Leader, Liberal Democrats

    Cllr Tahir Aziz
    Leader, Labour Party

    Cllr John Bond
    Leader, Independent Group

  • Article: Nov 6, 2020
    Will Forster and the Lib Dems have said that people in Woking "will not forget" the actions of Conservative MPs like Jonathan Lord who voted against providing safe and legal routes to sanctuary for vulnerable refugees.
    Earlier this week Tory MPs rejected amendments to the Immigration Bill, despite four people, including children, tragically losing their lives trying to cross the Channel last week.
    The Lib Dems who are also urging the public to back their petition, have committed to fight on. In addition to safe and legal routes to sanctuary for vulnerable refugees, the Party wants to maintain the rights for refugees in Europe to be reunited with their families and ensure that unaccompanied child refugees can be resettled in the UK.
    Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking, Will Forster said:
    "With their inaction this Conservative Government is leaving people to die. Providing safe and legal routes for refugees is the right thing to do. Not just because these are vulnerable people who deserve our help, but because it is the best way to tackle criminal smugglers and stop people attempting dangerous Channel crossings."
    "How Woking's MP can look at themselves in the mirror knowing that they rejected proposals to ensure that unaccompanied child refugees can be resettled in the UK is beyond me. People will not forget."
    Lib Dem Home Affairs Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael added:
    "Just last week yet more people tragically lost their lives trying to cross the Channel. It is utterly heartbreaking especially for the friends and families left behind."
    "It is hard to imagine how desperate people must be to climb into these boats in search of a better life. It is just not right that vulnerable people are left no choice but to make these perilous attempts."