Woking and Surrey local news

  • Article: Apr 1, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Following a request from Lib Dem Councillor Will Forster, Surrey County Council has agreed to postpone its planned increase of residential parking permits due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The County Council wants to increase the cost of residential parking permits in Controlled Parking Zones and was intending to advertise and consult the public on the increase in April and then implement the increase soon after that. However, the consultation and increase will be postponed until after the coronavirus crisis has been resolved.

  • Article: Mar 31, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster
    The Lib Dems are calling on the Government to pick up the bill for Council Tax payments in order to ease the financial pressure people are facing as a result of coronavirus.

    According to the Lib Dems, their proposals would save residents in Woking Borough an average of £462 over the next three months.

    The party's proposals include a complete moratorium on payments for all households in Bands A to E, and a 50% reduction in payments across other bands. The Treasury would make up the shortfall in tax revenue with direct payments to councils.

    The Lib Dems would like to see these measures implemented for a minimum of three months, with an option to extend the scheme as required.

    Lib Dem Communities, Housing and Local Government spokesperson, Tim Farron, said:

    "Millions of people are facing financial hardship as a direct result of the coronavirus crisis. More must be done to ease the pressure on families facing financial hardship. Scrapping Council Tax bills before they kick in again in April is one such step."

    "Councils and local authorities provide vital services and, of course, they must be able to continue that work. That's why the Lib Dems are calling on Government to foot the bill until the current crisis passes and people can start to rebuild."

    Councillor Will Forster added:

    "In Woking, people in Bands A-E are being asked to pay an average of £1,847 in Council Tax this year. As the coronavirus crisis escalates, thousands will be unable to pay, and may fall into arrears if steps are not taken to suspend payments. Rapid action is needed, or many more families will be under unbearable financial pressuring in the coming weeks."

    "Councils have been hit hard by government funding cuts over the last five years. Every penny is now vital to ensure Woking Borough Council can continue to operate. Under these proposal councils would receive equivalent funding from Central Government to make sure they can continue to provide the services that people in Woking in rely on."

  • Ann-Marie Barker and Deborah Hughes
    Article: Mar 25, 2020
    By Cllr Ann-Marie Barker

    Independence of Scrutiny committee confirmed

    Councillor Deborah Hughes has been vindicated in a complaint brought against her by lawyers acting for Woking Football Club and the developers behind the Cardinal Court development proposals. The complaint has been fully dismissed as wholly unfounded.

    Councillor Hughes, the Liberal Democrat Chair of Woking Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee said:

  • Article: Mar 23, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    The Lib Dems have set up a taskforce to help coordinate the party's network of Councillors, members and activists in the community to ensure the most vulnerable are being supported during the coronavirus crisis.

    The taskforce, which is part of a national initiative by the Lib Dem Party, will help coordinate the Lib Dem response to the coronavirus crisis to ensure all those self-isolating, especially the vulnerable and elderly, get the support they need. As well as helping people with basic supplies the network of volunteers will help share best practice and the best ideas and ensure those in their communities are able to follow the guidance being put forward.

    The Coronavirus Community Taskforce will be chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington the former Chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisation.

    Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking, Councillor Will Forster, said:

    "As the Coronavirus crisis continues people in Woking are rightly concerned about their family, friends and loved ones. Even more people are keen to do something to help."

    "This crisis is leaving the most vulnerable in our communities at risk and we are determined to do what we can to help them. That is why the Lib Dems are setting up the Coronavirus Community Taskforce. This will coordinate our network in Woking, Surrey and across the whole country who will ensure those who are in most need get support."

  • Will Forster
    Article: Mar 9, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Ahead of the budget the Lib Dems are calling on the Chancellor to scrap business rates and replace them with a landowner levy to "breathe new life" into high streets in Woking.

    Acting Leader of the Lib Dems, Ed Davey, has warned that "the retail sector sounded the alarm bell on business rates a long time ago and Brexit has made these pressures even worse" and urged the Chancellor to fully adopt his party's policy in the Budget.

    The Lib Dems want to replace business rates with a commercial landowner levy based on the value of the land only. This would take the cost off businesses and help support high streets. By taxing landowners rather than businesses half a million small businesses across the country would be spared the burden of property taxation. The proposals would cut taxes for businesses across Woking Borough.

  • Will Forster Fast Train
    Article: Mar 3, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    The Lib Dems have revealed there were 11 incidents involving offensive weapons on trains or at rail stations in Woking since 2017. 9 incidents occurred at Woking Station including 3 so far this year.

    Lib Dem Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP has said the new figures "show the utter failure of Tory Ministers to keep people safe from crimes involving offensive weapons especially knives."

  • Will Forster supporting NHS hospital in Woking
    Article: Feb 8, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    NHS bosses are looking at plans that could involve the closure of the Walk In Centre at Woking Community Hospital.

    Woking's Walk In Centre is currently open 8 am to 8 pm 7 days a week and provides a vital service to local people. The Walk In Centre is useful when patients cannot see their GP soon enough and helps reduce the burden on Hospital A&E Departments.

  • Article: Feb 8, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Surrey County Council has agreed to a request from County Councillor Will Forster to lower the speed limit on Egley Road outside the Hoe Valley School.

    The A320 between Mayford and Woking currently has a 40 mph speed limit. However, following the opening of the new school, both the County Council and Police have agreed to lower the limit to 30 mph between the Mayford and Turnoak roundabouts.

  • Article: Feb 6, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Surrey County Council will start work to make Westfield Road safer and combat speeding from 17th February.

    Woking South County Councillor, Will Forster, said:

    "As local people know, Westfield Road has been an accident black spot for too long. Since the beginning of 2014, there have been 20 personal injury collisions on Westfield Road - resulting 4 serious and 16 slight injuries."

  • Article: Feb 4, 2020
    By Cllr Will Forster

    Earlier today, Lib Dem County Councillors voted against Surrey County Council's proposed budget for 2020/21 as it would put services to vulnerable residents at further risk.

    Will Forster, Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South, said:

    "Almost every day I hear from families struggling with their child's SEND needs or trying to get care packages for elderly relatives. The County Council rations these services for vulnerable people and this budget makes that worse."